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Publisher's Summary

Chelsea Cain's novels featuring Detective Archie Sheridan and serial killer Gretchen Lowell have captivated fans through two nail-biting entries, Heartsick and Sweetheart, both multi-week best-sellers on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly lists.

Here Gretchen is still on the loose and Archie is still hospitalized after his ploy to catch her went spectacularly wrong. They've entered a detente of sorts: Archie agrees not to kill himself if she agrees not to kill anyone else. But suddenly there's something else to contend with that might be worse - a zealous fan of Gretchen's, paying homage to the Beauty Killer by luring Archie and reporter Susan Ward to the scene of a grisly murder. At least they hope it's the work of someone new, for the prospect of Gretchen breaking her promise is more than Archie can bear.

©2009 Verite, Inc. (P)2009 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"With her preternatural grasp of pacing and ability to create vivid characters with astonishing economy, Cain expertly drives her narrative." (Los Angeles Times)
"We've been down Hannibal Lecter Avenue many times, and these two books shouldn't work . . . but they do. Chalk it up to excellent writing and Cain's ferocious sense of humor. The Portland [Oregon] setting is refreshing too." (Stephen King)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    75
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    25
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    4
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Average novel with irritating music thru-out


Evil at Heart follows the story arc of Gretchen and Archie-serial killer vs. typical broken down cop who isn't a drunk, but is a junkie on vicodin. This third novel in the series is yet another average rendition of a frequently written story arc. It's not bad but it's not really good either.

I purchased all 3 books when there was a sale at audible (buy 2 get 3) looking for a new author and charmed by the idea that the scene is set in Portland, OR----my hometown.

The plot isn't a bad one and the writing has some good points but I guess my hope the Cain's writing might improve as the novels progressed hasn't come to fruition, in my opinion. All 3 novels have come strongly in the average department...not bad, not good-just average. Each with the mandatory kinky sex scene, which is well written, and the increasing deterioration of Archie's mind as Gretchen gains more and more control over him.

I've noticed lately that more audio books have begun inserting musical interludes between chapters. For some reason the producers find this attractive, but as a reader/listener I find it irritating. All 3 of Cain's books had this aggravating addition to the novel as well as the addition of weird piano and string interludes during the reading of an exciting portion of the plot.

It sounds just like 1940 radio shows I used to listen to as a kid-or like the Twilight Zone on early TV to bring the analogy closer to modern day. One chapter, 42 I think, where there was supposed to be a suspenseful part in the story arc, the music played all thru the chapter....and it overwhelmed the reading at times-the music didn't add anything and really took away from the performance. And it drove me a bit batty with the irritating increase in volume.

Carolyn McCormick is a good narrator and I'd happily listen to her read other books.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Debbie
  • Winter Springs, FL, United States
  • 09-26-09

Another good listen!

This series just keeps getting better and continues to be interesting and maintain in depth character development. Narrator is good.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

OMG!

If you liked Heart Sick and Sweat Heart...You will be blown away with Evil at Heart. This was creeper than both the first 2 put together. I'm glad I don't live alone.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Creepy!

This was full of plot twists and though grisly, has some unexpected humor. The narrator interpreted the story pretty well but has a slight lisp on the sibilants that is a bit distracting.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Celeste
  • Santa Rosa, CA, USA
  • 10-05-09

loved it

first time listener to this author and I loved it..interesting characters and enough action to keep it going..

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • mary
  • VENTURA, CA, United States
  • 10-04-09

what was that

This was not up to par with her last two books. The characters were so empty, they did not grab you. With the prior books, you really felt Archie's tension, pain, lust, and fear. He was too dull this time around. Very disappointed because I had been so excited to read the third installment.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Meghan
  • Yardley, PA, United States
  • 12-15-10

Evil Narration

The story was great, but the narrator was awful. She tried to do accents, but it was not working.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A disappointment

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, I found the character of Susan to be totally unbelievably naive.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Listening to 11-22-63, but Stephen King right now.

Have you listened to any of Carolyn McCormick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I know the voice and I love it, but I can't place the books I've listened that she narratored.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Maybe, there would have to be a total redo of Susan. Her stupidity drove me absolutely crazy and not in a good way.

Any additional comments?

I will listen the third one, I'm a glutton for punishment, but kill the Sweetheart killer already. These characters can really stand on their own without her.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Musical interludes not as bad

Either I am getting used to the musical interludes, or they are not as bad in this novel as they were the previous novel. Whoever decided that having someone hit random keys on a piano between every chapter was a good idea was mistaken. At least there was less music playing over the narrator in this novel compared to the previous one. That's definitely an improvement.

This novel, like the previous two novels, had some great humor and I liked the characters. However, I think the humor was just a bit less than it has been. Still good, though. Obviously, these novels aren't comedy novels, but it's nice to break up the tension with a bit of humor from time to time.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel. I am looking forward to the next one.

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  • Susan
  • Bartonville, TX
  • 01-18-17

A jumping off point.

Another well written thriller by Celsea Cain. I liked this book as well if not better than the last. Gretchen is not as predominant in this story but her creepiness leaks through the cracks of the other insane characters. Poor Archie is still trying to heal from all of her physical and mental abuse and I think he may be on track. Susan is still helping Archie and even though a little off center, her blind heroics come in handy. Some of us are doing this as a buddy read and I am looking forward to where the characters will take us in the next book.

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  • Overall
  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-23-12

Evil at Heart

Excellent book, 1st part of a thriller series about detective Archie Sheridan, excellent narration by Carolyn McCormick! Very hard to stop listening, want you to know what is going to happen next. I recommend this book with all my heart! You nearly feel like you are in the middle of the crime scenes. Detailed and interesting. You won't be dissapointed.

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  • Overall
  • Story
  • Rach
  • 01-19-17

Chelsea Cain is amazing

great book, let down by odd sound effects that didn't match and weren't relevant ..