Book Three: Evil at Heart

Evil at Heart , Chelsea Cain

I know, I know! I can't believe I persist in reading these either. I think this may be the end of my serial killer/thriller/mystery kick for a while. I need to feel like an intelligent human being, one who consumes more than just stories about sexy serial killers, body mutilation, blood, more blood, heads and eyeballs not where they should be, kinky sex and the like.

In terms of where this one falls in the Gretchen Lowell trilogy so far, I'd say it's a bit better than the second, not quite as good as the first. But isn't that always how it is?

Book Two: Sweetheart

Sweetheart , Chelsea Cain

This book, on the other hand, makes no illusions about being literary. This is pure guilty pleasure reading. At least, with these Gretchen Lowell thrillers, I can vividly picture the setting in beautiful Portland, and Chelsea Cain does a lovely job of capturing the city and imaging its inhabitants. But wow, such gore and violence and disturbing sex. Not for the faint of heart.

But that's obviously not going to stop me from reading the next one.

Book One: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson

So, seven books short of my goal isn't too shabby. Worse than last year but better than the year before. I think I'm learning that the secret is not to expect to catch up in December. Seriously, I will never be able to read more than a handful of books in December. But, onward and upward! No more looking back at the past! It's a new year and a new goal! Whee!

And now watch as I fill my reading list with mysteries and thrillers. I'm a glutton, what can I say? But this one, this one is really great! All the hype is true, I assure you. It's amazingly well-written, thoughtfully plotted (even in those first 50 pages when you're wondering, "Where is this going?"), and has loads of good stuff to propel you forward on every page. Sure, it has its share of gratuitous violence (including some icky violence against women--brace yourself), but I think it ultimately defies a lot of the cliches of the genre and becomes something more. Really looking forward to reading the next in the series.