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by Chelsea Cain
Minotaur Books, August 2013
368 pages
ISBN: 0312619812

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Detective Archie Sheridan is headed to a Halloween party on Jack Reynold's own private island. Not that he particularly wants to go, but the case building against Jack and his illegal drug ventures pretty much requires that Archie go, once he's been invited. At the party a girl is murdered. Archie can't ignore that, and it gives the investigating team ample reasons for search warrants and the like. At some point, Archie (and everyone else) realizes that serial killer Gretchen Lowell is back. For how long? For what reason? Did she murder the girl? So many questions and so little time.

Cain is a grand teller of stories, horrible stories. Her ability to get a reader to suspend belief is uncanny. Once that belief in reality is gone, Cain just runs with her story. The longer the series continues, the more difficult it is becoming for me to suspend that belief. LET ME GO is book six, with no end in sight. Archie is a grown man and, after his encounters with Gretchen, not the healthiest guy on the planet. Still she can ensnare him, seduce him, cause him both mental and physical pain . . . and yet he can't stop. The "support" circle surrounding Archie, both personal and professional, are hard pressed to understand how he can continue to fall prey to Gretchen. Really, how many times can a person pick up the pieces after Gretchen is done?

The setting, an island, makes this a locked room mystery. Jack Reynolds's security system makes it even more so; the man has cameras just about everywhere. Gretchen has found a way around the security cameras and other devices. This woman can do more than McGyver, I swear. She makes Lon Chaney look like a chump at disguises. Again, the whole suspension of belief thing rears its ugly head.

Meanwhile, the drug investigation is getting very convoluted. Jack's son is involved. So is one of Archie's best sources. The FBI is in on things. Whom to trust? Whom to believe? Archie has all this to sort out while trying to save his date to the party, Susan, who is married to one of the players in the investigation. Does Jack have her? Does Gretchen? How about the Russians? Is she even still alive?

Cain manages to pull it all together, wrap it up fairly neatly, and still leave enough loose ends for book seven. I'll probably read it, as I seem be peculiarly fascinated by the relationship between Gretchen and Archie, and because She writes a killer story.

P.J. Coldren lives in northern lower Michigan where she reads and reviews widely across the mystery genre when she isn't working in her local hospital pharmacy.

Reviewed by P.J. Coldren, October 2013

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