The Night Season by Chelsea Cain

A couple years before I began my blog, I became enamored with Chelsea Cain's Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell series.  In Gretchen Lowell, Cain created a sexy, sadistic killer who seemed to draw upon the best (and by best I mean most twisted) aspects of Hannibal Lector and combined them with a sensual allure that made her all the more threatening. Archie Sheridan, the cop tasked with capturing her, can't help but fall under her spell. I rapidly devoured the first three novels and found myself caught up with the series. Cain took her time crafting the next novel, and it has languished on my "to be read" list ever since.

The Night Season is quite a departure from Cain's original trilogy. It begins with Portland facing the kind of record flooding that hasn't been seen in decades. In fact, the last time this much rain came down, the entire town of Vanport and many of the townspeople were washed away. The casualties of this latest flood are already stacking up. As the bodies are inspected, the medical examiner makes a shocking discovery. These people were not drowned. These people were murdered.

Archie Sheridan is tasked with investigating the murders. The days of tangling with the Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell are long behind him, but the memories still haunt him.  The bodies recovered from the flooded river come back positive for a toxic poison produced by a rare species of octopus. To kill a person by these means confirms one thing. The person responsible for these murders is cool, calculated, and extremely dangerous. Archie elicits the help of Susan, a reporter who is investigating the skeletal remains of what she believes to be a victim of the original Vanport flood. The two race against the mounting storm to stop the most twisted killer to reign since Gretchen Lowell herself.

It has been several years since I finished the last novel in the series, Evil at Heart. I'm happy to report that Cain's writing is as vibrant and appealing as I remember it. The irony of reading a novel about a flood taking over a town as I seek refuge from the flooding of Hurricane Harvey is not lost on me. Thankfully, I've fared better than the poor residents of the fictional Vanport! Gretchen Lowell is absent for most of the novel, allowing Archie and Susan to blossom into even more deeply drawn characters. This story works really well as a standalone work, but I'd still recommend reading the original novels before diving into this one. Knowing what Archie had to overcome to reach this point in his life really adds to the depth of the character and helps explain his motivations. For her part, Cain has written a thrilling novel that takes her characters into new territory while maintaining the elements that made me fall in love with her writing in the first place. The Night Season is a worthy addition to this stellar series.

For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and Goodreads.

(2017, 37)

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4 Responses to “The Night Season by Chelsea Cain”

  1. Thanks for the recommendation about reading the series. So often it is the depth of character that make a book memorable.

  2. I am glad you could enjoy this addition to the series. Yes, it sounds like it relates to round about now, but I am glad you're one step ahead of those characters ;)

    1. I was very fortunate throughout all of the flooding here!


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