In Chelsea Cain's first novel, Heartsick, we met serial killer Gretchen Lowe--beautiful, highly intelligent, cultured--and her victim/lover/hunter Archie Sheridan, Portland detective and family man. Sweetheart picks up two years after the grotesque events of Heartsick unfolded, and with the same cast of characters.
Archie Sheridan is divorced from his wife, but still living with her and their two kids. He is in love with his ex-wife, he is in love with Vicodin, and he is in love with Gretchen Lowell. When she escapes from prison while being transferred to another facility Archie knows that he must see her, he must have her, and he must keep her from killing again.
While drawing heavily upon the type of dynamic between detective and psycho killer that Thomas Harris invented and then perfected with Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter, still Chelsea Cain manages to keep her story fresh...as well as truly sick and nasty (and as a gobbler of serial killer novels, I mean that in the best possible way). Not only that, but she's left the door open for the possibility of more encounters between these two tormented characters.