Book Reviews of Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1)

Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1)
Heartsick - Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1
Author: Chelsea Cain
ISBN-13: 9780312368463
ISBN-10: 0312368461
Publication Date: 9/4/2007
Pages: 336
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 197

4 stars, based on 197 ratings
Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

54 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 159 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
Wow, this was a twisted take on the serial killer theme. By page 28 I was hooked and couldn't put it down. Gretchen kills, and enjoys every minute of it. It's up to Archie, who she used as a pin cushion for ten days, to figure out who is killing young girls in the area without loosing his final thread of normalcy. What does Susan, the reporter with hot pink hair, have to do with any of it? Read it and find out! You won't be sorry!

(Don't eat while you are reading this one!)
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
THE BEST THRILLER BOOK EVER!!!

Seriously, if you love thrillers, and ESPECIALLY thrillers about serial killers, then you DON'T want to miss HEARTSICK.

I don't know how Ms. Cain came up with the character of Gretchen Lowell (actually, I probably don't WANT to know!), but she has to be the most twisted killer I've ever come across. You may have thought Hannibal Lecter was the king of serial killers -- but that crazy man doesn't hold a candle to the chilling Ms. Lowell.

Trust me. Get the book. It's that good. Just don't read it while you're home alone, or when there's a threat of a power outage, or when you're eating dinner.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 8
Awesome book!

I read the first chapter when I received the book, then tossed it aside because I couldn't get into it. I picked it up a week later and could not put it down until I finished it!!! Read it in one day.

The characters have the most warped and twisted relationships and the story lines weave around until they nicely tie in at the end.

The ending was satisfying and I can't wait for a sequel.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 218 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
Heartsick was announced as compareable to "Silence of The Lambs" and it keeps what the publisher promised.

Archie Sheridan is a disturbed cop. After surviving 10 days at the mercy of a female serial killer, trying to kill him slowly, his life and mind are all messed up. Two years after his torture he´s still depending on pills and can´t to forget what happened and what his secret feelings are.
Back into law enforcement he´s dealing with a serial killer again until everything makes one huge picture and finally sets him free from his obsession.

I couldn´t completely compare Heartsick with Silence of The Lambs. The story might have similarities but doesn´t focus on the conversations between offender and victim.

I´ve heard this is the new beginning of a series and I will definitely follow it.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 504 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This book was seriously scary. The setup leads you to believe that it will be a Silence of the Lambs knock off (indeed the author subtly pokes fun at that at one point), but this is actually a refreshing change from the usual emotionally damaged cop/psychopath theme. The stories and characters are intertwined in ways that will keep surprising you until the end of the book.
The tone of this book is very dark and ominous. Be forewarned that there are graphic descriptions of violence and torture - do not read if you have a weak stomach!
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 107 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Okay, I had myself all hyped up about this book. I had read and heard good things about this book. The book sounded interesting when I read the book summary. But did it live up to my expectations?! Not really, to be honest. Sure, it was a decent book, I even gave it 4 out of 5 stars, but in the end I was just disappointed in how it ended. I almost gave up on it because it took me forever to read the first 100 pages, so it does have a slow start in my opinion, but I don't think I would have been "Heartsick" if I had never read this one.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This is was my first opportunity to read this author. Overall, I was impressed. I read a lot from this genre, including Lisa Jackson and Tami Hoag.

I titled the review interesting perspective because of one of the main characters. The villian isn't your "typical" type of criminal. I must tell you, if you are like me and have a really good imagination and can picture things when you read, this book may or may not be for you. Some of the descriptions of the actions might be slightly graphic. But if you like that stuff, go for it! (It didn't bother me.)

I would definitely pick up something by this author again if given the opportunity.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 165 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
It's an ok book, but I could not warm up to one of the main characters, Sarah Ward, who is a journalist. She gets handed the opportunity to tag along with detective Archie who is investigating the murders of a serial killer, which might or might not have a connection to famous, presently incarcerated, serial killer Gretchen Lowell (200 or more victims!). Gretchen and Archie have a history together: She once kidnapped and tortured him for several days, until she decides to call not only 911 to get help for Archie, but also to turn herself in. Presumably because she fell in love with him. But even in jail she has power over Archie, because she promises - in exchange for weekly visits - to give up the location of the graves of some of her other victims.

Aside from characters acting rather stupidly (especially the above-mentioned Sarah) the characters are well-written. If only the story were a bit more credible and would not have such a stereotypical serial-killer mystery ending! I wanted to quit reading the last 50 pages, because it was so predictable.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 51 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Wow! What a thriller...disturbing; brilliantly written...you won't be able to put it down. It will grab you from beginning to end.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Pretty good. Writing is basic, not great, but not bad either. The characters are really good and you get sucked into their lives and the twist at the end how she wraps everything up, is nice!
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 1099 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Good writing and a never-let-go plot make for a scary, almost too twisted to read story. To say that Archie Sheridan is a complex man with serious issues doesn't say the half of it, but Cain handles his character and that of the reporter Susan Ward very deftly. The villain, though, is so creepy as to be almost unbelievable.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 91 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
* * *. A troubled cop (the only survivor of a convicted female serial killer) forces himself back from medical leave to search for a new serial killer, accompanied by a journalist. Gruesome at times, certified page turner, but ultimately forgettable. Definitely grabs you from page 1.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
One of my favorite books! I picked it up because of the cover, read the back and was very intrigued. Very surprising twists and turns. A little romance, and one very diabolical antagonist. A must read!
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 161 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Amazingly different. The relationship between the serial killer and the cop is disturbing yet somehow feels realistic. Interesting read.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wow this Gretchen is one sick puppy, it's a lot differnt from the other mystrys i've read, didnt put it down till i had finished it. Good book, cant wait to read the next one.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This story stayed present in my consciousness for a loooong time after the book ended. The author has some amazing talent in bringing the characters and their actions to life. I definitely plan to read the sequel.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 404 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I usually don't like stories which flip back and forth from present time to past, but it's helpful for this title. Archie has to find a serial killer while battling his own demons of being captured. Every main character has a neat ending. Gruesome in many parts. Same pace and atmosphere like Mo Hayder's Birdman and The Treatment. I can't wait to read Cain's next, Sweetheart.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was a very good first novel. Couldn't put it down.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars!!
I loved it it has to be one of the best thriller books I have read in a long time!!
It just had everything murder, mystery, intrigue, suspense and love.
If you only read one thriller book -let it be this one it is a book that once you pick up you cannot put down so make sure that you have a few long hours to do nothing but read.
Trust me You will love this book, then you will have to read the other 2 in the series.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
This is an extremely well written and taut psychological thriller, but not for the faint of heart. It's not so much the physical blood-letting, although there's plenty of that, but the psychological torture is truly horrible and stressful to read. A brilliant book, very well done, but troubling. As a reader, I really felt for Archie and what he was going through. I will definitely read the second book in the series, but I had to take a break, because it was just too haunting.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is Chelsea Cain's first book and it is an excellent book. If you like mysteries you are going to love this book. I rate this book 5 stars. I am now reading her next book Sweetheart and it is just as good as her first book. You are going to love this book!
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
The book was great, a real page turner.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 89 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Truly twisted. I like the serial killer in this one. I've seen it compared to Silence of the Lambs but I'd say its more like Hannible meets Dexter & the result is one beautiful but psychotic b*tch! Good read, ending had a great angle I didn't expect.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 7145 more book reviews
THE BEST THRILLER BOOK EVER!!!

Seriously, if you love thrillers, and ESPECIALLY thrillers about serial killers, then you DON'T want to miss HEARTSICK.

I don't know how Ms. Cain came up with the character of Gretchen Lowell (actually, I probably don't WANT to know!), but she has to be the most twisted killer I've ever come across. You may have thought Hannibal Lecter was the king of serial killers -- but that crazy man doesn't hold a candle to the chilling Ms. Lowell.

Trust me. Get the book. It's that good. Just don't read it while you're home alone, or when there's a threat of a power outage, or when you're eating dinner.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 305 more book reviews
I absolutely loved this book! This was my first Chelsea Cain novel and I was so surprised! Fast paced; meaty; full, well developed characters; and the most amazing antaganist ever. I did not want to stop listening to this book! I will search more Cain novels and highly recommend this book to everyone.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 329 more book reviews
Enjoyed the mystery and liked the characters. Very real in todays world.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
I am not a big fan of thriller/mysteries, but this one was pretty good. It got a bit slow at times, and ocmpletely unrealistic at others, but overall it was a good read.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 504 more book reviews
Heartsick has some interesting characters and any book about a female serial killer can always grab my attention.

Detective Archie Sheridan is a seriously haunted man. He was held captive and tortured by female serial killer Gretchen Lowell. She murdered and then resuscitated him and now resides in a prison cell. After his experience, he is unable to be the loving family man he once was and is divorced, addicted to pain killers and is on a mission to provide closure to the families of the victims that Gretchen murdered. In order to do this he continues his bizarre relationship with Gretchen and visits her in jail every Sunday.

When teenagers beginning turning up dead, raped and bleached (in that order) Archie is put back into service. He is being followed around by a pink haired reporter named Susan who is writing an expose on the investigation and Archie's life. During the investigation bits of Archie's time spent in Gretchen's basement are revealed and she turns out to be as darkly disturbed as any of the males usually in her position of power.

This book held my attention because the flashbacks with Archie and Gretchen were captivating and the cast of characters were complex, not always likable and seriously flawed. The resolution to the current murders was a huge disappoint though. It all seemed too coincidental for me to buy into which keeps this book from being memorable for me.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 30 more book reviews
At first, I thought it was another version of the Hannibal Lecter stories, but it was plesantly and disturbingly different. I plan on reading more from this author, as I'm hooked on the main character Archie and his struggles. The flow of the book was great, character development was pretty good, but I thought the journalist character kinda wrapped up to quickly at the end. But overall I liked this story and will read the next on in the series.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
THIS IS BY FAR ONE OF MY FAVORIE BOOKS! THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE TWO MAIN CHARACTERS IS AMAZING,SICK AND TWISTED AND MAKES FOR A VERY GOOD READ! YOU WON'T WANT IT TO END AND YOU WILL BE EXHAUSTED WHEN IT DOES!!
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 53 more book reviews
At first this story seemed like there should have been one before, but as you read you will get caught up with flashbacks. It's very graphic. I wasn't sure if I liked it until I read the next book (Sweetheart) then the story came together for me.I am looking forward to the next in the series. Very unusual storyline.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 35 more book reviews
Heartsick is a great thriller. It is a new perspective on the detective story. I highly recommend it, but it is a gorier thriller than most. Plus it's set in my home city of Portland, Oregon!
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 40 more book reviews
This book is not for the faint of heart. The premise explores the dark side of human nature. A policeman hunting for a serial killer is lured by her into her trap. She spends days torturing him, kills him, resuscitates him and tortures him some more. Then she calls 911 to rescue him and turns herself in. But he's not really rescued as he's not the person she captured - not anymore. Now he's a mental and physical wreck. He has to separate from his family and goes once a week, every week, to visit the serial killer. He is totally in her control and has chosen her over his wife and kids. He exists on drugs to get him through. Now another serial killer is in the news and he has been asked to head the case. He does and not only finds the killer, but finds a connection to his nemesis. It's the Stockholm syndrome tripled.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 49 more book reviews
Absolutely awesome. Her characters hook you, her plot keeps you guessing. I can't wait to get the second one.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on
excellent read!
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
I love this book, it is very dark and thought provoking, not for everyone, but this book is one I will keep in my library.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 2194 more book reviews
Not quite what I expected, mostly about the reporter and a lot of 'thinking' and description. Story not anything like what I thought it would be.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 70 more book reviews
Page turner.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 373 more book reviews
Dastardly beauties have enthralled me since Cruella de Vil, and Gretchen Lowell is no exception. She's everything you'd want out of a sick, cruel, obsessive, nasty, adorable psychopath. With a dazzling smile, to boot!

Cain does just enough revelation in the novel employing flashbacks to keep the reader wondering about the shared past between Gretchen and Archie, while at the same time holding interest in the present storyline of the serial killer. Several examples of a twisted mind emerge in the novel and will probably give you pause. But stick with it.

The end made me a little heartsick. And also made me want to get the second in the series.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 13 more book reviews
Kept me interested through the whole book. Unusual premise, but great book!
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 685 more book reviews
This was a very interesting book,I lookforwardto reading the next in the series. Worth reading if you are a thriller lover, somewhat unique
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 636 more book reviews
A good, solid thriller. _Silence of the Lambs_-esque, but a with a gender reversal. All in all, highly enjoyable and not as predictable as I feared it would be once I was halfway through. It's set up to be a series, and if that is the case (or even if it isn't) I will definitely continue to read this author. While this isn't my favorite thriller of 2008, it was certainly one of the more entertaining ones, but I probably wouldn't recommend it to someone who wasn't a fan of the genre...
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 40 more book reviews
I really enjoyed this thriller. I couldn't put it down. The characters were all likeable and the ending had quite a twist. I look forward to other books by this author.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Good read.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 235 more book reviews
Read it in almost one sitting. I really enjoyed the way Cain changed the gender of the killer, giving it an interesting twist. The dynamics and layers of this book are a refreshing change. Cain has one me over.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
thrilling
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 92 more book reviews
ABSOLUTELY UNBELIEVEABLE!
I got this as a free download on my NOOK...WOW what a great book!
Awesome psycho-suspense, remnisicent of Silence of the Lambs, yet original and possibly even SICKER! Highly recommended for those looking for a totally twisted page-turner!!!
5 stars!!! Can't wait to read the next in series!
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on
Better than the average thriller. I stayed up WAY too late reading it!
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 40 more book reviews
This is an easy read, psychological thriller, with lovable characters and characters that you love to hate. I've read three of the "heart" books and loved them all.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 18 more book reviews
I love this one and all the rest of them in the series--they are awesome, terrifying, and page turning!
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 121 more book reviews
Words that describe the book: Serial killer thriller

Settings where it took place or characters you met:

1. Setting: Portland, OR, present day
2. Archie Sheridanâa damaged, painkiller-addicted ex-cop who returns to the force to catch a nascent serial killer who is targeting high school girls
3. Gretchen Lowellâan imprisoned female serial killer who is the cause of all of Archie's problems and may or may not have information about the new serial killer in town

4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it:

1. I liked the idea of a female serial killer. You don't come across one too often.
2. I liked the weird dynamic between Gretchen and Archie. The book includes flashbacks to the 10 days that Gretchen tortured Archie before inexplicably turning herself in, and the readers gets a glimpse into the disturbing relationship between the two.
3. I liked the character of Susan Ward, a young punk-rock reporter who is hand-picked to cover the police investigation and write a profile of Archieâand who ends up getting a little too involved in the case.
4. I liked the fast pace of the book, and the fact that there are more "Archie and Gretchen" books to read.

5 Stars or less for your rating?

I'm giving the book 3.5 stars. The book is a fast-paced thriller that departs from the usual "template" by having a female serial killer and a cop/killer relationship that somewhat echoes the dynamic between Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter in "Silence of the Lambs." The reader gets oddly sucked into the relationship between Archie and Gretchen, and I'm curious to see how this plays out in the rest of the series. I liked that Susan Ward was more than a young reporter; she had issues of her own as well as "spunk." I also liked the Portland setting as I went to college in Oregon and am a little familiar with the city. If you like serial killer thrillers, I would highly recommend this one. (Note: As with all books of this type, there are graphic depictions of violence. It certainly isn't a "cozy" mystery.)
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 35 more book reviews
Great book, Highly recommend this book. Set in Portland, OR. Shows a differant side of victum and murderer. Not the same old detective story.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 44 more book reviews
A police detective spends the story trying to recover from being entrapped by a female serial killer who delights in keeping him in her thrall. "When I think that day after day so many people don't kill anyone, well, I just can't imagine it!" she tells Archie. When it appears that another serial killer has come on the scene, he is asked to return to work in order to provide his expertise. A young female reporter is assigned to follow the case(s) and the detective, but ends up almost a victim herself. I wish writers would look up words when they don't know what they mean instead of just casting them into their stories ... but what are you gonna do? The story does keep your attention, altho it is quite grim.
reviewed Heartsick (Archie and Gretchen, Bk 1) on + 354 more book reviews
DETECTIVE ARCHIE SHERIDAN SPENT TEN YEARS TRACKING GRETCHEN LOWELL, A BEAUTIFUL SERIAL KILLER,BUT IN THE END SHE WAS THE ONE WHO CAUGHT HIM.THIS WAS GREAT,READ IT IN ONE DAY.