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The Night Season

A book by Chelsea Cain

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Watery deaths

  • Apr 2, 2011
History repeats itself in The Night Season, when the Willamette River rises nearly as high as in 1948, when it swept away an entire town in less than an hour. Now the city of Portland itself is threatened, but there's more than a flood to worry about when a series of drownings turn out to be murder by octopus. If you can swallow the idea that a serial killer would choose such a bizarre, troublesome method when a simple hypodermic would do, this isn't a bad mystery. Detective Archie Sheridan has returned from an extended medical leave, and as he hunts for the psycho he must also battle the weather, which plays a major role in the book's outcome. Tagging along as usual is journalist Susan Ward, who inadvertently serves as the murderer's catalyst. For some reason, the cops tolerate her intrusiveness, and she makes discoveries without which they'd not be able to resolve the case, at least not as quickly. As its title implies, this is a dark novel. The characters spend most of the time in sopping wet clothing, drenched either by the incessant rain or by their own rescue forays into the river. Archie and Susan are likable characters, quite natural in their personal quirks, reactions, and motivations. That sort of realism extends to the less prominent characters as well. Lamentably, the one exception in Night is the killer himself, of whom we learn little and see less, and I kept wondering how he managed not to fall prey to his own murder weapon. Also, it was never made clear why he kidnapped a child. Nevertheless, the police procedural part of the plot works, the atmosphere is bleak and ominous, and the ending is a dramatic one.
Watery deaths

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More The Night Season reviews
review by . March 13, 2011
   In The Night Season Chelsea Cain’s continues her promising series of thrillers featuring detective Archie Sheridan and a fascinating cast of characters, with the free spirited reporter Susan Ward being at the epicenter of this adventure.       In this new novel, the Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell is finally in the background, but she will never be out of the picture as Archie will be forever damaged and sickeningly drawn to this dastardly beautiful female …
review by . March 18, 2011
The Night Season reads like a hard rain - fast, intense, inescapable. Propelled forward by a fast-moving plot and the snappy dialogue of her characters, the story comes on strong and doesn't let up until it's done.      Here, in the fourth book of Cain's Portland crime series, we have the story of a modern-day Portland engulfed by rain and the ever-rising waters of the Willamette River, and the tale of Vanport, flooded 60 years previously. Mysterious deaths are uncovered …
About the reviewer
Linda ()
Ranked #53
After 21 years as a school psychologist, I now work part-time at two local historical museums, giving tours and teaching special programs. This leaves me more time to enjoy my little grandchildren, and … more
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With serial killer Gretchen Lowell locked up, Archie Sheridan can concentrate on more pressing issues, like the Willamette River threatening to overflow its banks, in Cain's fine fourth thriller to feature the Portland, Ore., detective. When a body turns up at an amusement park, Archie thinks it's just another drowning, until the coroner finds a puncture wound. The case becomes a murder investigation when similar marks are found on other recent victims thought to have succumbed to the Willamette's rising waters. Meanwhile, reporter Susan Ward is writing a piece on a skeleton uncovered at the site of what was once Vanport, a town destroyed by a flood in 1948. She tags along with Archie's team as they try to pinpoint not only the killer's motive but also his bizarre toxin. Cain easily weaves the history of the real-life Vanport flood with her trademark heart-stopping moments, and fans will be pleased to see the series flourishing without Gretchen on every page. 150,000 first printing. (Mar.)
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ISBN-10: 0312619766
ISBN-13: 978-0312619763
Author: Chelsea Cain
Publisher: Minotaur Books

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