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He thinks he sees a flash of emotion in her eyes. Sympathy?
Then it's gone. 'Whatever you think this is going to be like,' she whispers, 'it's going to be worse.'
When beautiful serial killer Gretchen Lowell captured her last victim - the man in charge of hunting her down - she quickly established who was really in control of the investigation. So why, after ten days of horrifying physical and mental torture, did she release Detective Archie Sheridan from the brink of death and hand herself in?
Two years on, Archie now returns to lead the search for a new killer, whose recent attacks on teenage girls have left the city of Portland reeling. Shadowed by vulnerable young reporter Susan Ward, Archie knows that only one person can help him climb into the mind of this psychopath. But can Archie finally manage to confront the demons of his past without being consumed by them?
'Dark, distressing and disturbing . . . Just pray you never meet Gretchen' Val McDermid
'What may be the creepiest serial killer ever created. This is an addictive read!' Tess Gerritsen
'Move over Thomas Harris, there's a new kid on the block . . . Compelling, highly believable and very sexy' Daily Mirror
McCormick delivers an uneven performance in her reading of Cain's bestselling debut thriller. Gretchen Lowell, "The Beauty Killer," was one of the most prolific serial killers in history, claiming over 200 lives. Her only surviving victim was Archie Sheridan, the lead detective on the task force set up to apprehend her. Archie was tortured for days until Lowell inexplicably turned herself in. Two years later Archie is still a victim, on leave from the force, estranged from his family, addicted to pain pills and obsessively visiting Gretchen weekly. When a new killer begins murdering teenage girls, Archie is called back into action. By his side is an ambitious, pink-haired news reporter who may become her own page-one headline. The usually reliable McCormick has a rocky start with the first few chapters. Her clipped, overarticulation of each line keeps listeners at a distance instead of immersing them in the mesmerizing events taking place. However, she does improve as the story moves forward, and her rich, throaty portrayal of Gretchen Lowell is the perfect blend of predator and seductress. Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's Minotaur hardcover (Reviews, July 16).