With the Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell locked away behind bars once again, Archie Sheridan—a Portland police detective and nearly one of her victims—can finally rest a little easier. Meanwhile, the rest of the city of Portland is in crisis. Heavy rains have flooded the Willamette River, and several people have drowned in the quickly rising waters. Or at least that’s what they thought until the medical examiner discovers that the latest victim didn’t drown: She was poisoned before she went into the water. Soon after, three of those drownings are also proven to be murders. Portland has a new serial killer on its hands, and Archie and his task force have a new case. Reporter Susan Ward is chasing this story of a new serial killer with gusto, but she’s also got another lead to follow for an entirely separate mystery: The flooding has unearthed a skeleton, a man who might have died more than sixty years ago, the last time Portland flooded this badly, when the water washed away an entire neighborhood and killed at least fifteen people. (From Amazon.ca)
If you picked this book up to read more on Gretchen, you won’t find much about her. She is mentioned but not until literally, the last pages of the book.
Anyhow, I thought this was a nice break away from Gretchen (you can only drag her out for how many books?) and focuses on a much different serial killer. I really enjoyed reading about this new mystery killer, but the setting and the floods add to an already dark and sinister setting. The floods themselves do add more action and suspense (especially towards the end) so I thought this was a nice addition to an already dark setting.
The pace of this plot was really good, and the short chapters makes the reading go much faster than usual. I like how there are no lulls in the plot. Although the sub plot with Susan Ward is not as interesting, it’s still related to the main storyline and provides more background information that is important to understanding the plot. There are quite a few moments of total suspense and thrills. The ending and the revealing of the killer had a lot of action sequences, and as mentioned before, the floods add more to the action and suspense. There was one particular moment in the book where I feared for a character (not going to reveal, am trying to keep this spoiler free!).
The only thing I didn’t like about this book is the way the killer killed his victims. It’s a little far fetched and perhaps to some readers, they might find it silly. It’s different, and I have not read anything like this. Although I found it a little unbelievable, it’s still interesting and still worth reading.
I’m glad there’s a break from Gretchen. For a moment I thought this Gretchen thing might drag and just might make the series go downhill. It may disappoint some readers, but this plot was well done, the characters are consistent, and I think it’s worth the read. With a tiny cliffhanger ending, I am curious to find out what happens next to Archie and Susan.
I give it an 8/10