Evil at Heart, the third of the Gretchen Lowell/Archie Sheridan thrillers, picks up just months after the end of Sweetheart. Gretchen Lowell, the Beauty Killer, is still at large, and Archie has voluntarily committed himself to a psychiatric institute which he doesn't care to leave. The Beauty Killer has become a runaway cultural phenomenon, with all of the attendant tasteless accouterments we have come to expect. There are Beauty Killer bus tours, which visit Gretchen's many crime scenes. Adults and kids alike wear T-shirts emblazoned with the words "Run, Gretchen." The toniest salons offer Beauty Killer manicures (pink with blood red tips). And there are fan clubs.
Now, despite her promise to Archie that she wouldn't kill anymore if he wouldn't kill himself, she's at it again. Or is she? Could it be copy cat devotees, taking up the torch? Archie finds he has no choice but to leave the cocoon of safety he's woven and take up pursuit once again.
Chelsea Cain gets better with each novel. Her dialog is snappy and frequently funny, a quality often missing from serial killer romps. She takes both the action and the gross out factor to excruciating levels and manages to maintain them there. She leaves the reader guessing until the very end, and even beyond.