The Night Season
Minotaur, Mar 1 2011, $24.99
Portland, Oregon police detective Archie Sheridan feels he can finally move on with his life as his nemesis serial killer Gretchen Lowell is incarcerated. However, he also knows she has been locked away before, but escaped like a magician.
As the Willamette overflows its banks, a body is found at an amusement park. Archie assumes it is another misfortune drowning victim until the coroner reports the cause of death being from a puncture wound. Other corpses turn up with the same trauma. At the same time reporter Susan Ward is writing an article on a skeleton found in the ghost-town Vanport, destroyed by the 1948 flood. Archie allows the journalist to join his team as they search for a serial killer using a strange toxin.
The fourth Sheridan police procedural (see Heartsick; Sweetheart; Evil at Heart) is a refreshing tale though the hero deals with another serial killer but this time Gretchen is limited to a few moments when Archie agonizes over his mixed feelings towards the black widow. The key to the superb whodunit is the real Vanport flood of over six decades ago that will remind the audience of Katrina as Chelsea Cain brings this disaster alive to readers. Fans will enjoy Sheridan’s brisk investigation of a present day psychopath and the deep look at the Vanport Flood calamity.