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The Night Season    by Chelsea Cain order for
Night Season
by Chelsea Cain
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Chelsea Cain, author of the Beauty Killer thrillers, Heartsick, Sweetheart, and Evil at Heart, now brings fans another chilling read starring Portland, Oregon Homicide Detective Archie Sheridan in The Night Season. As this one opens, Gretchen Lowell is in jail, and Archie is still in therapy over his obsession with her.

The story opens with a Prologue that takes us back in time to the Willamette River flooding in 1948, when an inexplicable delay in warning Vanport City inhabitants of a breach resulted in the town's destruction and many, many deaths. We fast forward to the present day, to read of more drownings in a flooding Portland, Oregon - or are they?

Alerted by Archie Sheridan - who feels guilty that she almost was killed on his watch in previous episodes - Herald reporter Susan Ward heads to the scene where a dead woman was found on a carousel (on the ostrich to be precise). The death turns out to have been murder, by the most unusual method I've read about in a long time!

Then Archie's partner Henry is attacked, and Archie leaps into the river to rescue a boy from drowning. Soon after the boy walks out of the hospital and disappears, police learn that he was abducted over a year before. In the meantime, Susan interviews an elderly lady with dementia about an old skeleton that she believes is connected to the Vanport disaster.

How does this all come together? Read The Night Season to find out but it's a doozy! And of course Archie suffers pneumonia, to add to his missing spleen, damaged liver, and compromised immune system. A friend rightly calls him 'a stubborn martyr with a white knight complex', but he does solve the case (with Susan's help) and faces Gretchen in court without blinking.

It's good to see the series continue past the Beauty Killer and I'm looking forward to more thrills and chills from Chelsea Cain, a master of the genre.

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