Monday, August 19, 2013

Let Me Go

"We have our ups and down, like any other couple." 

Let Me Go marks the sixth entry in Chelsea Cain's suspense series featuring damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan, and currently-escaped serial killer, Gretchen Lowell.  This book opens up right around Halloween, and coincidentally, Archie's birthday.  Oh sure, Gretchen is out and about, on the run, but Archie is effectively not sticking his nose into the investigation, which is being spearheaded by the FBI.  What ends up kicking off the action in this installment is the murder of a DEA agent.  This agent was the contact for Leo Reynolds, son of a notorious drug kingpin, working on the inside to bring down Daddy's organization.  Now with the death of this agent, everything is in jeopardy, and Archie finds himself crashing a party at Daddy's house in the hopes of making contact with Leo. 

Naturally the whole thing goes south quickly.  Archie finds himself falling into painkillers again, journalist Susan Ward finds herself being used as a pawn in a dangerous game between Leo and his father, and somehow Gretchen Lowell finds herself smack dab in the middle of it all.  Well, as long as she's back in Portland, she might as well plan something really special for Archie's birthday.  I mean, why not?

Cain's brilliance as a suspense writer is that she's very good at "urgency."  There have been past books in this series that I have been loathe to even start until I'm certain I have a couple of solid hours of uninterrupted reading time at my disposal.  They're runaway train reads.  As the reader you simply hold on for dear life until the thing comes to a stop.  I certainly plowed through this story quickly (I mean, I did finish it in a day!), but it doesn't have that non-stop, frantic pace like some of the other books in this series - and I'll be honest, I missed that.  A lot.

The story here is mostly very solid.  I do think Archie tends to get a "free pass" a lot from his friends and colleagues - but then I would hope someone would give me a free pass if I survived being tortured by a serial killer for 10 days.  The character that surprised me the most was Susan Ward, who bordered on blatantly too-stupid-to-live in some of the earlier entries.  Susan really has some of the best moments in this one - mostly saying things, out loud, that the reader is thinking.  Also it was nice to see that Cain is really moving the story of Jack and Leo Reynolds further along - given that it was mostly treading water over the last couple of installments.

But I didn't love this like I've loved some of the others - mostly because the tells are showing.  Or maybe it's because I've been reading suspense novels for too many years.  But there are twists in this book that I saw coming the moment the author inserts the foundation for them in the story.  I can't delve into specifics without blatantly giving spoilers, but yeah I knew what was coming and when.  Bad guys, Gretchen's maneuverings behind the scenes etc.  Saw it all.  Which was a downer for me, since I genuinely love being surprised by suspense.  With this book?  Not so much.

Still, I read it in a day and I enjoyed it while I was reading it.  I bought it new, in hard cover, and I don't feel like that money was wasted or ill-spent (especially since it's now winging it's way to Lil' Sis for her to read).  It's not my favorite entry in the series, but I was entertained and eagerly await the next installment.

Final Grade = B


Marguerite Kaye said...

I've never heard of this author, but it sounds like my kind of thing. Should I start at the beginning, or would you recommend one of the others as my first?

Wendy said...

Marguerite: This is one of those series you really need to read in order - especially the first three books. Also, I didn't state it in this review, but Cain tends to write gory. So if violence in books is a trigger for you - consider this your warning. The ending in this book reminded me of a Quentin Tarantino film ;)

In order:

Evil At Heart
The Night Season
Kill You Twice
Let Me Go

Marguerite Kaye said...

Thank you for the warning. I'm not big on violence though I do love Tarantino, so I'm going to give the 1st one a chance, and I won't hold it against me if it gives me nightmares! Though actually, my nightmares tend to be a bit more mundane - last night I was on a cruise ship with Richard and Judy (which probably won't mean anything to anyone outside the UK, but trust me, it wasn't good).

Keishon said...

I'm reading it right far I'm not all that impressed and can see where it's going too. Still, Cain is entertaining. Thanks for the review.

Wendy said...

Keishon: That was pretty much my feeling for the whole book. I was ho-hum about it - but I still read it in one day and it was entertaining while I was reading it. So it's not like it was a total fail. I just didn't think it had the same kind of "momentum" as some of the other books in the series have had.