Heartsick by Chelsea Cain
MYS CAIN (also on audio: AD MYS CAIN)
This is the first book in the Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell Series by Chelsea Cain, and the audio book, which I listened to and really enjoyed, is read by Carolyn McCormick. Detective Archie Sheridan is just a shadow of the man he was before he was taken and tortured by Beauty Killer, Gretchen Lowell, whom he had been chasing for ten years. Even two years later, the horrors that he went through have made him dependent on prescription drugs and needing to push people away, even though he is now working on a new case (as head of the task force).
Teenage girls are going missing in Portland, only to have their bodies turn up on the banks of the Willamette River. The Portland Herald has named him The After School Killer.
While hunting for the killer, Detective Sheridan is also having his story written by Susan Ward, the features reporter for The Portland Herald. Susan is excited to write his story, but she soon learns some very hard truths about Detective Sheridan, his demons (and inability to let go of Gretchen Lowell, who is now serving a life sentence in a prison in Salem), and the horrors that he sees everyday. She also learns that Detective Sheridan had an ulterior motive when it came to choosing Susan to write his story.
One warning to you, though, Chelsea Cain walks you through the events of Archie Sheridan's time with Gretchen Lowell, and it is not pretty. I couldn't help but cringe every time the author described the things that Gretchen did to Archie. They are spread out through the book, though, which makes it easier to take (small doses of horror). There is also some strong language. I really enjoyed the book and the storytelling behind the lives of Archie and Susan. The author also gives you just enough little hints throughout the story to figure out who killer is (if you're paying close enough attention). Gretchen Lowell as a serial killer is an interesting twist, as well. Women are very rarely serial killers, and usually the ones who become serial killers are posioners. It will be interesting to see how far they delve into her past (and hopefully they will in the future books) and how she came to be this way.
The other books in the series are Sweetheart, Evil at Heart, The Night Season, and Kill You Twice.