Marty Shaw's Reviews > The Night Season

The Night Season by Chelsea Cain
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's review
Jan 05, 2012

it was amazing

"The Night Season" is the fourth book in the Archie and Gretchen series, and Cain goes in a brand new direction with this one.

I wasn't sure if I'd like this book because my main draw to the series was the cat-and-mouse mind games played between Archie and Gretchen, and I had already heard that the beautiful serial killer didn't play a significant role in this one. Turns out that I didn't have anything to worry about.

There's a new serial killer on the loose, so good at using Mother Nature to cover his (or her) tracks that three people have been killed before the police realize there's a new murder spree taking place. The killer's weapon of choice? That would spoil the surprise, but I promise it's not something you'd normally think of using.

Archie has gotten a lot better since we saw him last. He's not quite the 'damaged goods' that he previously has been, but he's still an interesting character. While it's nice to see Archie on the road to recovery, I hope he's not able to put all his demons away. Without the ghosts from his past, he risks becoming just another cop in a detective novel. It's the strength used to function normally, while battling against those emotional wounds, that makes him really stand out.

Susan has a much larger part this time out, and that was nice to see. Her drive and determination, combined with her rebellious attitude, injects some much needed humor into a story that could become overwhelmingly dark without her bubbling personality to occasionally lighten things up. I'll admit that part of the fun of reading the series is discovering what color Susan's hair will be this time around.

The book had a bumpy start for me because the story starts in 1948. What on Earth does a flood in 1948 have to do with anything? Apparently, quite a lot and Cain does a great job of linking the past and present together.

The plot moves at a fast pace and the sense of mystery is never lost. Even after the police discover who the killer is, the action remains non-stop. The flood plays such an integral and active part in the story that it's basically another character, and Cain wields words masterfully to fully capture the power of nature's fury. You'll almost feel like you need to dry off after some scenes.

I thought "The Night Season" was an excellent read and I'll be looking forward to the next installment of the Archie and Gretchen series, regardless of whether Gretchen is actually in the story or not.

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