Chelsea Cain’s fifth novel to feature Portland detective Archie Sheridan and his nemesis, Gretchen Lowell, delivers the shocks that one expects from this The Silence of the Lambs clone. Kill You Twice is the best book in the series since Heartsick.
Incarcerated in a psychiatric ward, Lowell continues to gnaw away at Sheridan’s psyche. When a murder reveals a connection to one of Lowell’s earlier crimes, Sheridan is forced to ask for her advice. She claims to have inside knowledge and knows the killer will strike again. Is she lying or does she have a more sinister purpose? And how does it tie into a disappearance almost 20 years ago?
Sheridan’s relationship with Lowell goes beyond the hero/villain role; it’s both complex and weird. The insight into Lowell’s past and how she became a monster brings much needed light into this dark tale. The supporting characters seem odd, and borderline unreal, but the main narrative, with all its idiosyncrasies, and the ending seem like a way to draw readers into Cain’s next book.
Hannibal Lecter grew tiresome, and the same can be said here about Sheridan and Lowell. This series is running on fumes, but Kill You Twice proves there’s still some gas in the tank. But at what point is Cain going to realize this vehicle needs a tuneup?
Jeff Ayers reviewed this book for The Associated Press.