Debut Review: HeartSick by Chelsea Cain

Heart SickTitle: HeartSick
Author: Chelsea Cain
Publisher: Macmillan
Published: 3 August 2007
Price: £10.00
Review Copy

I said in a recent review that plotting takes practice and I want to know where Chelsea Cain took her lessons. Heart Sick is more than a catch-the-killer detective story. It plays with your mind.

What would happen if the serial killer you were chasing captured you and then tortured you for ten days before calling 911 and giving herself up just in time to save your life?

How would you cope if after two years a reporter shadows you and asks you questions about secrets that only you and your torturer share as another person is killing young girls and you’re running out of time?

I’m seriously impressed by how Cain explores these ideas. Not only does she put the reader in minds of the Archie, she also shows us him through the eyes of a reporter, at the same time as keeping up the pace on an investigation into a serial killer.

It’s just one more chapter reading until you come to the twisted end, which isn’t even where the ending should be. You need to know what comes next. Cain is a perfect poker player laying out the right cards at the right time but giving nothing away.

Cain has left plenty of scope to explore the strange (sick) relationship between Gretchen and Archie in a sequel.

It can’t all be good right? If I was being picky I could say something about the lack of development time for the secondary characters but that only because the pace doesn’t let up and Cain has made them interesting enough to want to know more about them and I hope they appear again in a future book.

Cain’s kicked off her career with a sky high performance. They don’t get much better than this.

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