Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Source of my copy: FSB Media
Series: Gretchen Lowell #4
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Chelsea Cain launches the next stage of her bestselling series as Archie Sheridan works to regain his life and Susan Ward steps in to share the spotlight in this electric thriller from one of today’s most talented suspense writers.
With Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell locked away behind bars once again, Portland detective Archie Sheridan can finally rest. Meanwhile, the city of Portland is in crisis. Several people have drowned in heavy rains that have flooded the Willamette River. But the medical examiner discovers that in fact the latest victim was poisoned before she went into the water she didn’t drown. A little detective work shows that so far three of those previously thought to be accidental drownings have actually been murdered. Portland has a new serial killer on its hands, and Archie and his task force have a new case. Meanwhile reporter Susan Ward is following up on an entirely separate mystery: the dramatic flooding has unearthed a skeleton, a man who might have died during catastrophic flooding more than sixty years ago that washed away an entire neighborhood and killed at least 15 people.
As Archie follows the bizarre trail of evidence and evil deeds to catch his killer, he has to battle the rising waters of the Willamette first.
Set in a cold, wet Portland, Oregon, The Night Season is the fourth book in the Gretchen Lowell series which follows Detective Archie Sheridan, reporter Susan Ward and Beauty [serial] Killer Gretchen Lowell. In Night Season Gretchen is in jail once more and Archie is after another serial killer after they found victims during a flood that didn't drown but instead were poisoned. Susan is trying to solve another mystery from a devastating flood that occurred 60 years ago in the same area Willamette River area.
It took me a while to really get into the mystery. I enjoyed getting to know the characters, especially Susan who was extremely likable. She was smart, tough, persistent and tell-it-like-it-is yet she's also vulnerable and at times very young. Archie was more reserved, a mystery man but likable as well. I enjoyed the dynamics between the two of them. There may or may not be some sort of romantic tension between Susan and Archie. I haven't read the first three books in the series so I don't fully know their relationship but if you're looking for a romantic suspense this book is not it--this is straight up suspense. As for the villain, he was just so-so--when I read this genre I want to be disgusted by the evil villain and hate him. That didn't happen here but his method of killing of his victims was definitely interesting. If I had to pick a favorite part, it would be the setting and the dark atmosphere of the novel. I loved the way the author made you feel as if you were there in a wet, rainy, muddy and dark Portland on the verge of a flood. Overall, I thought the book was slow moving but I kept going because the writing was really good. The last third of the book did have more action and I was riveted then.
Although Night Season is the fourth book in the series, you don't need to read the first three to enjoy it. If you are following the series and is sad that Gretchen isn't a prominent character here, she is referred to throughout and the havoc she left behind is still being felt by Archie and the others. The Night Season has great characters, the setting definitely matches the mood of the story and the writing itself was fantastic that I had to keep reading but it took a bit to get going. 3.5 out of 5 stars