Blurb: With the Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell locked away behind bars once again, Archie Sheridan—a Portland police detective and nearly one of her victims—can finally rest a little easier. Meanwhile, the rest of the city of Portland is in crisis. Heavy rains have flooded the Willamette River, and several people have drowned in the quickly rising waters. Or at least that’s what they thought until the medical examiner discovers that the latest victim didn’t drown: She was poisoned before she went into the water. Soon after, three of those drownings are also proven to be murders. Portland has a new serial killer on its hands, and Archie and his task force have a new case.
Reporter Susan Ward is chasing this story of a new serial killer with gusto, but she’s also got another lead to follow for an entirely separate mystery: The flooding has unearthed a skeleton, a man who might have died more than sixty years ago, the last time Portland flooded this badly, when the water washed away an entire neighborhood and killed at least fifteen people.
I think this is my favorite book in this series. As much as I enjoyed the interplay between Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell in the previous books, it was starting to feel forced and I didn’t think the author could sustain a series based purely on their relationship. This book moves away from that, focusing instead on the relationship between Archie and reporter Susan Ward. The tension in this story just crackles from start to finish–it’s wonderfully paced and manages to weave in some history of the city of Portland, where the series takes place. It’s interesting to me that the weakest part of Cain’s books tends to be the crimes under investigation, but the characters and the pacing are so well handled that it’s not as big a drawback as you’d think. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series.
My rating: 4 stars