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Publisher's Summary

Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent 10 years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer, but in the end, she was the one who caught him. Two years ago, Gretchen kidnapped Archie and tortured him for 10 days, but instead of killing him, she mysteriously decided to let him go. She turned herself in, and now Gretchen has been locked away for the rest of her life, while Archie is in a prison of another kind: addicted to pain pills, unable to return to his old life, powerless to get those 10 horrific days off his mind. He continues to visit Gretchen in prison once a week, saying that only he can get her to confess as to the whereabouts of more of her victims.

When another killer begins snatching teenage girls off the streets of Portland, Archie has to pull himself together enough to lead the new task force investigating the murders. A hungry young newspaper reporter, Susan Ward, begins profiling Archie and the investigation, which sparks a deadly game between Archie, Susan, the new killer, and even Gretchen. They need to catch a killer, and maybe then, somehow, Archie can free himself from Gretchen, once and for all.

Either way, Heartsick makes for one of the most extraordinary suspense debuts in recent memory.

Don't miss this Heartsick extra: Chelsea Cain's video tour of Portland! Then listen to Heartsick's sequel, Sweetheart.
©2007 Chelsea Cain; (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC

Critic Reviews

"With Gretchen Lowell, Chelsea Cain gives us the most compelling, most original serial killer since Hannibal Lecter." (Chuck Palahniuk)
"Heartsick has it all: a tortured cop, a fearless and quirky heroine, and what may be the creepiest serial killer ever created. This is an addictive read!" (Tess Gerritsen)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Robin
  • Fallon, NV, USA
  • 10-28-07

Good 1st Book

Interesting book, a little twisted, but interesting. Audiobook was enhanced by choice of narrator. The Beauty Killer was as scary a villain as I have come across in recent years. Kudos for creating a female Hannibal Lector-esque villain!

Not a typical detective novel though, definitely more in line with the horror genre.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


If you don't like the the gory details this is not the story for you! They are necessary to depict the twisted female serial killer. The relationship between psychopath Gretchen and victim cop is fascinating. The pace picks up after a slow start. It takes of and goes up and down like a roller coaster.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jenna
  • Gardiner, ME, United States
  • 10-08-08

Good Book

This was a great listen! It was very well written(a little wordy at times), but very thought-provoking and eye-brow raising. I do agree with some other reviews regarding the narrator. She was a little flat at first, but after a few minutes it becomes evident the book is worth listening too, poor narrator or otherwise. It was a good plot, I found myself bored with the "after school killer" and more interested in hearing about the Beauty Killer and Archie. It developed more as the story continued and wrapped together nicely at the end. I didn't find it to be predictible and was very satisfied with the ending. I'll definately be listening to "Sweetheart". Kudos to the author for developing a great female serial killer. I found that to be more entertaining than having a female heroin. Definately worth the time and money. Enjoy!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nancy
  • Bloomville, OH, USA
  • 09-18-08


I love this book, I hated to see it over as I looked forward to hearing more and more. It will keep you listening till the very end.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mark
  • Murray, KY, USA
  • 10-05-07

Enjoyable thriller

The story kept me involved and wanting more. I normally listen to audio books while walking for exercise and a couple walking trips were extended because I didn't want to stop listening.Good detail and narrative that made me have a personal connection with the characters. Recommended this to a coworker and would recommend to others.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nando
  • Dayton, Ohio, United States
  • 11-26-08

No Silence of the Lambs

While this book is a great listen, I don't think that the description or comparing to The Silence of the Lambs really fits. I have to say though that I have and will continue to refer this book as a must read. Characters were well defined. Plot carried itself and made you want to continue the story. Thoroughly enjoyed.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lori
  • Anchorage, AK, United States
  • 09-18-08

Excellent read

This book was just what I needed. Gripping, interesting, intelligent with likeable characters.

Ms. Cain's book kept me very satisfied and ready for more, so on to the next Archie novel. thanks so much.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Rocco
  • lyndhurst, NJ, USA
  • 11-06-07

Good Read!

Heartsick is one of those books that makes you think period! It stirs a multitude of emotions, all at once. It was a real page turner that scares and excites you at the same time. Very well done!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lynn
  • Wauwatosa, WI, USA
  • 09-25-07

Great First Novel

Heartsick is one of those books you can't put down. It grabs you from the first page and pulls you along from there. There are twists and turns in the plot, some you can see, others that make you gasp. If you like novels by Patrica Cornwell, Thomas Harris or Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child you'll love this addition to the genre.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Entertaining Listen

While I agree that the plot is somewhat predictable, I still enjoyed this book very much. It was very entertaining, an interesting concept that is well developed, interesting characters (I do wish that a couple had been a bit more fleshed out) and, above all, well narrated. The narration MAKES this audiobook move and draws you into the characters. Recommended without hesitation. Enjoy!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful