The Night Season
175 Fifth Ave., NY, NY 10010
9780312619763, $25.99, www.minotaurbooks.com
In this, the fourth book in the series featuring police detective Archie Sheridan, Gretchen Lowell, the beautiful, sadistic serial killer who in previous entries shared the stage with Archie, is little more than backdrop, a recurring theme playing almost entirely offstage. Gretchen has now been in jail for six months [after having been recaptured]. This time reporter Susan Ward plays a larger role, working almost in tandem with Archie, the cop who lived to tell the tale of the Beauty Killer and has still not quite recovered. [For the uninitiated, Archie headed up the task force searching for the gorgeous psychopath for ten years before she caught him three years earlier. She had held him captive and tortured him in ways too lurid to be described here. It nearly cost him his life; it did cost him his marriage.] After spending two months in a psych ward, he is now, at 41 years of age, eight months clean of painkillers and six months out of inpatient treatment, and allowed to go back to work in the police department.
The killer which is front and center this time around is the swollen Willamette River in Portland. But it seems that a human killer is at work as well: Among those swept away by the flood waters are several who were killed before they were left to drown, poisoned by one of the most bizarre methods one is ever likely to find in a novel. As the cops investigate, one of their own is an early victim. There are parallels between the current fictional natural disaster and one which actually did completely wipe out another Willamette River city more than 60 years earlier.
Readers can be reassured that this book does not have any of the graphic descriptions of the pleasures in which Gretchen indulged in the earlier books. For those that miss the gore, the author notes in an acknowledgment that she will make up for it next time. With or without those elements the book makes for great reading, as did the others. It is another suspense fill entry in the series and, as those earlier books, is recommended.
Shatter the Bones
77-85 Fulham Palace Rd.
Hammersmith, London W6 8JB
9780007344215 14.99 BPS, harpercollrns.co.uk
[IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THIS BOOK IS PRESENTLY ONLY AVAILABLE IN THE UK AND CANADA NOT YET AVAILABLE IN THE US]
Alison McGregor and her six-year-old daughter, Jenny, Aberdeen's huge...