The backstory: Let Me Go is the sixth novel in Chelsea Cain's Gretchen Lowell and Archie Sheridan series. My reviews of the first five: Heartsick, Sweetheart, Evil at Heart, The Night Season, and Kill You Twice. If you haven't read this series (and like a compelling serial killer story), all of them are on sale for less than $7 for Kindle, and the first is only $2.99.
The basics: It's Halloween in Portland. It's also Archie's birthday. And Gretchen is still on the loose. Archie dreads the holiday and fears how many will dress as Gretchen for Halloween, giving her the perfect opportunity to blend in and make an appearance.
My thoughts: This series is one of my favorites. It is dark and disturbing, but Cain infuses these characters with so much humanity and has built this world so well that the violence and psychological terror are never cheap ploys; they're compelling insight into the mind of a brilliant, flawed villain and the hold she has over Archie. There are so many complex webs of relationships present in Let Me Go. As I listened, I marveled at how many details from past books came into play. I'm curious how many of the stories told in Let Me Go were mapped out many books ago. Cain deftly builds upon the past details of this series and puts events in past books into new light. There were certainly a few scenes so brutal they were hard to listen to, but they always serve a greater purpose in Cain's books, and I admire her ability to tell such bold, dark stories in a beautifully humane way.
Audio thoughts: After reading the first five in print, it was a transition to listen to this one. In some ways, this transition is similar to seeing the film version of a novel, but I soon adjusted to Delaine's excellent narration. What I particularly liked was her patience. Chelsea Cain's novels are so addictive I sometimes find myself reading faster and faster, yet Delaine took the time to pause and build even more suspense.
The verdict: Let Me Go is a wonderful installment in a series that is one of my favorites. The complicated relationships Archie Sheridan has continue to add nuance. It's a testament to Cain that I struggle to clearly delineate between these novels--the characters continue to develop and grow, and it's impossible to really assess these novels individually. Let Me Go in particular draws on past details and nuance beautifully, and I can't wait to see where Cain takes these characters next.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Length: 13 hours 3 minutes (368 pages)
Publication date: August 13, 2013
Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Let Me Go from an independent bookstore, the Book Depository or Amazon (Kindle edition.)
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