St. Martin’s, Sep 2008, $24.95
Emotionally scarred detective Archie Sheridan returns to his hometown of Portland, Oregon hoping to find some peace, but doubts he will succeed. He feels deranged as he still dreams of serial killer Gretchen Lowell as his SWEETHEART although he no longer visits her as he did weekly when she was first incarcerated. He hopes work will help him forget his deranged HEARTSICK mind starting with the murder at Forest Park; the place where Lowell left her first victim.
While Archie battles with his mental state, Herald reporter Susan Ward writes an article accusing U.S. senator Castle of seducing the then fourteen year old babysitter of his children ten years ago. Two more corpses are found in Forest Park and Gretchen escapes from prison. When Castle dies, Susan finds a connection between his sex scandal and the park deaths. When Gretchen escapes from prison, Archie knows he must confront the Beauty Killer who he is obsessed over before she begins a second serial killing spree.
This is an exhilarating police procedural sequel due to the emotional relationship between Gretchen and Archie who understand one another. The story line is fast-paced and filled with action as the subplots tie together, but it is the odd coupling as it was in HEARTSICK that makes SWEETHEART a must read.