Emily's Reviews > Evil at Heart

Evil at Heart by Chelsea Cain
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Sep 05, 11

Read from September 02 to 04, 2011

FINALLY Archie Sheridan gets his balls back. That should really be the subtitle to this book. Evil At Heart: Archie Sheridan Finds His Balls. And it seriously can't come sooner enough after the self induced torture fest that was Sweetheart. Jesus H, I've never wanted to punch a main character in the face more then I did through that entire novel. BUT THAT'S ANOTHER REVIEW ENTIRELY. Moving on.

I absolutely loved this. We see the (somehow, didn't think it was even possible to go further) darker side of Gretchen Lowell and the consequences of being a crazy messed up beautiful serial killer that abducts children and tortures them. There's a lot of mind games in this one between Archie and Gretchen but not in the annoying WHY CAN'T YOU JUST SHOOT HER IN THE FACE way that was basically all of Sweetheart. A lot of twists where you're not sure if Gretchen is telling the truth, then you're not sure if NOW she's telling the truth, and it all gets seriously F'd up in the end but it's AWESOME. Susan is back being bad ass and hilarious as usual, and Archie, once again, finally chokes the bejesus out of Gretchen. A couple of times. It's the most fulfilled I've felt after reading a book in awhile.

The book also takes time to delve into the consequences of a media saturated culture, and how a serial killer can be glorified by the media to become an unintended role model to the public eye. Especially a beautiful one. I thought it was a great take on societal interest in murder and and our cultural obsession with beauty and power but it was subtle enough to not be preachy or overbearing. In Susan's voice it was absolutely perfect.

Thankfully, the relationship between Archie and Gretchen isn't nearly as irritating this time around as it's mostly about Archie getting his shit together and releasing the hold Gretchen has on his massively damaged psyche. It's most fulfilling. Now if Archie and Susan would just get together, this would top my list as one of the best mystery series of all time. Regardless, it's still up there for sure.
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