Review: Let Me Go by Chelsea Cain

  • Series: Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell (Book 6)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (August 13, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0312619812
  • Source: Personal copy

*Note: This title is the sixth book in a series. There may be spoilers listed in the review below. Please avoid if you have not read the previous books in the series*

It’s Archie Sheridan’s birthday and his hopes of celebrating a quiet evening with his ex-wife and kids is ruined when he is called to investigate a murder.  A body has been found in the bathroom of the Gold Dust Meridian.  Despite the fact that the indentity of the victim is unrecogniable at first, Archie soon discovers that the body is that of a DEA agent and the contact for Leo Reynolds, the son of one of the largest drug dealers in the Pacific Northwest.  Leo has beeen working with authorities to bring down his father for some time now. The fact that his contact has been murdered leads Archie to believe that Leo’s father, Jack Reynolds, may be on to their plan.

Shortly thereafter Leo disappears. It’s not an unusual occurence but his girlfriend and Archie’s close friend Susan is worried.  When Susan and Archie are invited to an invitation-only masquerade party on Jack Reynold’s island, they both see it as a unique opportunity: Susan can confront Leo about his disappearance and recent behavior; Archie can get inside Reynold’s home an potentially identify some of his cohorts. Yet the next morning, Archie wakes up with a concussion and no other knowledge of what transpired. Leo is still missing and the body count continues to climb.

Security footage from the island sheds new light on the situation. Gretchen Lowell, on the run after escaping from a mental institution, killing several during her escape, is back.  While authorities try to pin more recent deaths on Gretchen, Archie would recognize her handiwork if he saw it. Archie is closer to Gretchen than anyone, their illicit affair when Gretchen was working with authorities on the case bringing the two closer than Archie would have liked, especially now that Archie knows just how sick and twisted Gretchen can be. The recent murders are too “clean” to have been done by Gretchen’s hand; she’s known for slashing and mutilating her victims.

Despite what transpired between Gretchen and Archie in the past, seeing her on the footage renewes his deep physical attraction for her. If she is not responsible for the killings, why has she returned after being quiet for so long?

Let Me Go is the sixth book in this truly addictive series (following HEARTSICK, SWEETHEART, EVIL AT HEART, THE NIGHT SEASON, and KILL YOU TWICE).  I do not hide my adoration for this series. I’ve even named my Macbook “Gretchen” (mainly due to its bright red cover).  I’ve followed Archie and Gretchen’s sick and twisted relationship from the beginning.  Each time a new title is released, I must get my hands on a copy as soon as physically possible.  I keep my standards high when it comes to reading anything Chelsea Cain writes and I have yet to be disappointed.

In the most recent books in this series, while Gretchen doesn’t play a largely active role in the storyline from the beginning, her character is definitely a presence throughout. Archie is still recovering from his addiction to Gretchen, but in this novel his healing process has reached a climax: he must now face the guilt he holds after his actions lead to the deaths of so many, as well as the destruction of his marriage. Admitting just how involved he was with Gretchen is the final step in getting his life back to normal.  The title is most appropriate, for Archie must force Gretchen to remove the ties she has on him if he is ever to maintain a normal life.  Finally taking responsibility for his action adds a completely new dimension to Archie’s typically cold character.

When Gretchen finally makes an appearance, she’s still just as sick and twisted as she’s ever been. It astounds me how much I love her character, given how evil and tortourous she can be. This is at true testament to Cain’s writing, her abilily to create a character, a truly psychotic serial killer, who fans can’t help but love. I imagine readers cheering when her characters enter a scene, for her character has a unique charisma you don’t often see in fiction.

While many readers may crave for some sort of conculsion to Archie and Gretchen’s “relationship,” I was thrilled to see that while there is a bit of resolution, Gretchen Lowell will continue to play an ever-present role in Archie’s life.  In Let Me Go readers will see a definite shift in their relationship but any fears of a rapid conclusion are unwarranted.

I could honestly go on and on about my fondness for this series but, for fear of boring you, I’ll wrap it up with this: if you haven’t started this series (REALLY!?) then I highly encourage you to do so. Fans of this series will be handsomely rewarded with this most recent addition. Highly, highly, highly (ok, I’ll stop!) recommended!

Interested in trying out the audiobook production of Let Me Go? Sample a clip here.

1 Comment to "Review: Let Me Go by Chelsea Cain"

  1. August 15, 2013 - 11:29 AM | Permalink

    This is one of those series I keep meaning to start and then don’t. don’t know why but I think I’m finally going to correct that. They good news is I have plenty to keep be busy catching up. Thanks for reminding me about the series.

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