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The Night Season (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell #4)

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,907 Ratings  ·  780 Reviews
With the Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell locked away behind bars once again, Archie Sheridan--a Portland police detective and nearly one of her victims--can finally rest a little easier. Meanwhile, the rest of the city of Portland is in crisis. Heavy rains have flooded the Willamette River, and several people have drowned in the quickly rising waters. Or at least that's what ...more
Audio CD, 7 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Macmillan Audio (first published 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 01, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A lot of people on amazon seem to take issue with this book because it only has about four seconds of Gretchen and the rest is spent on an actual plot and actual crime solving during a massive Katrina style flood in Portland. Personally, by this point, I'm pretty damn glad to have a break from the psychosis that is Gretchen Lowell and the abominably annoying relationship she has with Archie Sheridan.

I thought this story was great. It has a lot more Susan being awesome, and Archie has finally fi
Apr 28, 2011 Flannery rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People Who Like This Series But Can't Skip An Installment
Uuuuuugh. Say every book was a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece would be a different part of the book--each character, the plot, the setting, the pacing, description, you get the point. At the end of the book, you should be able to sit back and enjoy the completed masterpiece and how the pieces all fit together perfectly. Oh man, this book is like that person that comes up to you when you are doing a puzzle and then just dumps all the pieces out. (THE EDGE PIECES FIRST, MORON! IT'S A SYSTEM!) I hate th ...more
Moira Russell


Not to sound super-bitchy, but if I'd known this book would feature Gretchen Lowell only once for a moment near the very end, I wouldn't've pre-ordered it at full price. It's not bad -- there's also less Archie, really, but a lot of Susan, and some good subsidiary characters too. But let's face it, the real charge in these books is the sick connection between the Beauty Killer and her captive/captor, and without that, I was stuck thinking "W
This is a tough one to rate. If you're still reading this series, you may be like me in that you were hooked in book one and two by the Archie/Gretchen dynamic. Book three featured Gretchen but somehow failed to live up to its predecessors. Book four, in which Gretchen is out of sight though not completely out of mind, also fell short of the initial two books.

Interestingly, while many people who didn't like this book found Gretchen's absence to be the problem, I don't agree. I honestly felt we n
Nov 26, 2010 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
March 2011 publication.

I hate to tease you but Chelsea Cain has outdone herself on this fourth entry in the Gretchen Lowell (aka Beauty Queen) series although Gretchen appears mainly in spirit.

Portland is in the midst of one of Oregon's rainiest seasons with the Willamette River threatening to go over the seawall and flood downtown. In the meantime bodies are turning up with bizarre wounds of which have never been seen before (the method of killing is definitely inventive). Portland homicide det
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
When it comes to series, you take a little break from the main villain sometimes. It can be a good thing or it can not. The case with the 4th book in the series, it was a nice change of pace.

I did take a little break from it, not in the mood to read it. Then came back to it and liked it enough. I mean there's a little bit more Susan, with her reporter driven personality and ever changing hair dye with each book. I was okay with that. About time she got character development, well, more so in thi
I'm not going to lie. I adore Chelsea Cain and it's almost impossible for me to put her Archie & Gretchen series down, but I was disappointed with #4. Not enough action, not enough blood-and-guts, not enough Gretchen, not enough evil. If that makes me a bloodthirsty psychopath, so be it. I have seriously high expectations of Cain and they were not met with this book, though I confess I was able to smash through it in a matter of hours, more or less.

What I will praise is the development of Su
Jan 31, 2015 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed first at Brunner's Bookshelf

This is one of those series that I keep in my back catalog. It's the kind of book you read when there isn't anything else you want to read and you need a filler. The first book Heartsick was really good and it was my first Advanced Reader copy I had ever gotten. The story was really good and I liked the characters. As the series has gone on I have sort of fallen out of love with these books yet I keep going.

This is the first book in the series that doesn't ha
Let’s start with this: What Chelsea Cain knows about marine biology would fill a toothpaste cap (the travel size) with room left over for a small cephalopod. (Oh, Lord, I hope I haven’t spoiled things for you already.) In fact, the killer’s weapon of choice in this neuron-snuffing annoyance of a snooze-inducing hack job is blatantly ripped off from Michael Crichton’s State of Fear, a novel that was, itself, no miracle of accuracy. Actual research was apparently too, like, boring for Cain and als ...more
Jeremy Hurd-McKenney
There is an abrupt change in tone in this fourth installment of the Archie Sheridan series, and it doesn't work at all for me. Cain trades in yucks for yuks, and frankly, it sucks. Instead of a late night scare fest, all I got was a tepid script for a police procedural. Perhaps if this had been a standalone novel featuring new characters that were not already well-established, this style of novel would have worked better; with these characters living in the world Cain has already built for them, ...more
Feb 18, 2012 Randy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chelsea Cain's story here, like her previous books, is gripping, tense and populated with memorable, if odd, characters. But The Night Season was something of a disappointment for me. Yes, like others, I missed Gretchen and her psycholgical drama with Archie, but my bigger concern in this book is a plot that failed to convince me to suspend my disbelief. For example, the serial killer uses a tiny, rare octopus to kill his victims--randomly, it appears. Why would he choose such a weird and danger ...more
Aug 25, 2012 Richard rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chelsea-cain
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ever since Chelsea Cain arrived on the scene four years ago with her Gretchen Lowell series, I’ve been hooked. For those who may not be aware, Gretchen isn't the protagonist, but the villain, and one who has made quite an impression as amoral serial killer obsessed with Portland, Oregon detective Archie Sheridan who knew her on more intimate terms. Some would say that Archie was a willing victim because he allowed himself to be placed in the situation where she tortured and mutilated him, but he ...more
This fourth installment of the Gretchen Lowell/Archie Sheridan series has little in common with the previous three books. First of all, Gretchen plays only a small role. And while this may bother some, it does lend some needed credibility to the series as a whole. Unfortunately, the murder weapon that Cain has her latest killer use completely destroys any of that newly built credibility in its utter ridiculousness (not to mention the fact that instantaneous death is not an actual biological real ...more
Apr 11, 2015 Elvan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much more of a police procedural than the previous books in this series and I think I enjoyed this less Gretchen and more Susan approach. I wish the author would continue with case solving by clues and interviews which don't always pan out instead of the pure psychological thrillers she has written. This one was just as tension filled but felt more like a real case would evolve.
If Portland floods as much and as often as this book indicates, I think I will remain inland. Archie is put through th
I really liked this next book in one of my favorite series right now. I was worried this one wouldn't be great since I didn't think the previous book in the series was as strong as 1 & 2. I'm hoping that #3 was just an anomaly! If this book is any indication, I think that might be correct!

Although Gretchen Lowell is not really more than a quick mention in this book, her influence permeates every page due to her lasting impact on Archie. I love Archie and Susan so this book really gave Chels
It is incredibly misleading to call this book "Gretchen Lowell #4" as Gretchen is basically not in the book except in a couple of passing comments made by other characters. In a way though, I actually liked this book better than #3 because I found Gretchen's power over Archie a little ridiculous and overdone, and so this was actually a nice breather. Susan continues to be one of the most annoying characters of all time though, and her stupidity runs rampant throughout the entire book.

I did enjo
Feb 24, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great, quick read. I was curious how much longer this series could center around Gretchen Lowell and although I hoped that it would take off and follow Archie outside of Gretchen, I honestly didn't think it would happen. This book has mentions of Gretchen, as she definitely affects everything about Archie, but she doesn't make an appearance until the very last chapter. I thought that Archie and Susan carried this book wonderfully. I love them as characters and would probably read anything they w ...more
Apr 07, 2013 Janene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I didn't know what to think when I read other reviews and found that Gretchen Lowell makes all of maybe 2 pages of the book. Huh?? But, my concerns were unfounded. I actually liked that Archie got a break from her and quite honestly, I just wasn't up for more Archie Torture, ya know? Interesting story line that kept me reading pretty much non-stop.

I LOVE these books. This books was all about Archie and Susan with a very short appearance by Gretchen Lowell. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book.
Aug 11, 2011 Jenny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
This is the fourth book in the Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell series. Those who have read the first three, Heartsick, Sweetheart, and Evil at Heart know how sick and twisted (but addicting) this series is! My husband and I love this series and looked forward to the latest addition. Just as the pattern in the titles changed (no heart!), the focus of the story changed too, which left my husband and me a little perplexed. The first three books dealt with serial killer, Gretchen Lowell, who had a p ...more
Apr 04, 2011 Darcy rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, audio-book, mystery
I really love these books for the crazy, psychotic that is Gretchen. So I was extremely disappointed with this book. With just a few off hand remarks and a very dull, minuscule scene at the end she was not in this book.

Archie is still a mess and I don't think that will every change. One can hardly expect him to be the same man he was before Gretchen played with him. But it does seem like he is getting back to as normal as possible for him. The events of this book seemed to hit Archie hard, peop
Aug 08, 2011 Moira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've loved Chelsea Cain's other three books in this series, and I was interested in how she would maintain it with her main villain (Gretchen) in jail. Gretchen's barely in this book at all, but I suffered no dropoff in interest. There are basically two villains in this one, the first being an actual crazy murderer, and the other being unending rain combined with the menace of the Willamette River which is in the process of flooding, causing massive damage to Portland. Cain is great at writing a ...more
Feb 21, 2011 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Famous female serial killer, Gretchen Lowell has been arrested for the second time. It does not look good for Gretchen this time. Meanwhile, Archie has been seeing a psychiatrist and been staying off the prescription medications for a while now. Archie is actually communicating and working with his co-workers again.

Susan Ward works as a reporter for The Herald. Now that anyone is counting but she and Archie have saved each other’s lives a few too many times. You could almost call Susan and Arch
May 29, 2011 Marcie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
No Leo? WTF? He doesn’t really appear in the book, just his flowers he keeps sending Susan. I’m getting kinda attached to these characters and don’t like it when they have to sit one out!

This 4th installment in Cain’s series is like one of those awesome weird episodes of CSI, like the one in which freaky people dress up in animal costumes, go to private parties, and have sex (and the guy was actually shot by a rancher who thought he was really a wolf as the poor guy was bent over in costume vomi
Dec 25, 2011 Josh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, crime, read_2011
With notorious Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell on the peripheral, Chelsea Cain's 'The Night Season' is a shade or two lighter than the previous series installments. Focused predominately on the quirky journalist, Susan as she attempts to uncover a string of murders seemingly linked to a present day flooding of the Willamette river in Portland and a disastrous flood that wiped out a community in 1948, 'The Night Season' is more a by-the-book police procedural than manic serial killer thriller.

Aug 05, 2013 Kate rated it liked it
After several bodies turn up as the city is flooding, Archie Sheridan begins to suspect that this is murder. The only clue is a small mark on the victims' hands. As Susan investigates an old skeleton that has been unearthed, she finds links to the Van Port flood of 50 years ago.

I hate to say it, but this one fell flat for me. Gretchen Lowell is barely in this story. The mystery about the flood and the unique murder weapon struck me as totally implausible. In the first three books of this series
I'm a chapter or two away from the end of The Night Season and I'm tortured! I want more... From the first page of the first book in the series I was smitten. It doesn't hurt that the series takes place in my own backyard - my old high school, the strip club up the street, the gigantic Paul Bunyan statue, the Children's Garden at Emanuel... it's bizarre to be able to literally put myself in their shoes as they walk through Portland doing what they do. But even if I couldn't - the characters are ...more
Janie Johnson
Apr 05, 2013 Janie Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-challenge
This was a great read, it is book #4 and probably is now my favorite so far in the Heartsick series. I did not think that was even possible. Our beauty killer is absent for the most part and it brought the book back into a more believable reality.

I must say that I think Susan is probably my favorite character in the series at this point. She has grown so much from being the spoiled brat we first met. Archie is finally acting like a true hero, and our splendid cast of characters have grown by le
Apr 06, 2011 Garlan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book four in the Gretchen Lowell series gives us a break from Gretchen - she's mainly referenced in background talk only. The city of Portland is on the brink of flooding from snow melt and continuous rain that has virtually paralyzed the city. What at first appears to be a number of drowning deaths turns out to be murder via an unusual delivery.. Sheridan and Susan Ward work closely together, piecing together clues from the crime scenes. Sheridan's partner, Henry Sobol, falls victim to the perp ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • So Close the Hand of Death (Taylor Jackson, #6 )
  • The Face of Death (Smoky Barrett, #2)
  • The Nightmare Thief (Jo Beckett #4)
  • The Girls He Adored
  • No Mercy (A Mercy Gunderson Mystery, #1)
  • Silent Mercy (Alexandra Cooper, #13)
  • Fallen (Will Trent, #5)
  • Black Friday (Maggie O'Dell, #7)
  • Breaking Silence (Kate Burkholder, #3)
  • The Burying Place (Jonathan Stride, #5)
Chelsea Cain is the New York Times bestselling author of the Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell thrillers Heartsick, Sweetheart, Evil at Heart, The Night Season, Kill You Twice, and Let Me Go. Her next book One Kick (August, 2014) will be the first in her Kick Lannigan thriller series. Her book Heartsick was named one of the best 100 thrillers ever written by NPR, and Heartsick and Sweetheart were na ...more
More about Chelsea Cain...

Other Books in the Series

Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell (6 books)
  • Heartsick (Gretchen Lowell, #1)
  • Sweetheart (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell, #2)
  • Evil at Heart (Gretchen Lowell #3)
  • Kill You Twice (Gretchen Lowell, #5)
  • Let Me Go (Gretchen Lowell, #6)

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