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All Hail the Cain!

Terrific review of Portlander Chelsea Cain’s newest thriller, LET ME GO.


This is part of the Gretchen Lowell series, which is one of the hottest franchises in the thriller genre. Chelsea is published by St. Martin’s Press, same as yours truly.

Yea, Chelsea!

Cain Raising Stakes

KILL YOU TWICE, the fifth in Chelsea Cain’s horrifying thriller series, might well be the best entry yet.

Cain is best known for creating the psychosexual serial killer Gretchen Lowell. But in KILL YOU TWICE — as in the other books in the series — Cain’s magic is in the all-too-human characters of Archie Sheridan, the tortured cop, and Susan Ward, the hilariously flawed journalist. The evolution of Archie’s serial killer task force has been great fun to watch as well. Cain has built a solid foundation in these characters.

No wonder the fx channel is preparing a TV pilot based on her novels.

Like the other entries in the series — HEARTSICK, SWEETHEART, EVIL AT HEART and THE NIGHT SEASON — Portland, Oregon, comes alive in this novel. Cain, a former columnist for The Oregonian, does a great job of detailing the city and its keep-it-weird inhabitants.

Note: This shockingly frank story is not for everyone. I flew to Ohio earlier this month next to a woman who turned a sickly ashen color when I mentioned that the tall blonde sitting three seats over was “that” Chelsea Cain. The woman wasn’t afraid of flying. She was afraid of Chelsea.

Full disclosure: Chelsea Cain is a writer for Minotaur Books, so we have the same publisher. Also, at a party this month in Cleveland, I’m relatively sure we were flirting with the same Englishman. Which is a post for another day.


When the Word ‘Thriller’ is Pronounced ‘Portland’

Now, this is a good place to be in as a reader. I’m half way done with ALPHA by Greg Rucka. After which, I get to start KILL YOU TWICE by Chelsea Cain. Two of Portland’s brightest stars in the thriller genre.

Early review: ALPHA is damn good. Rucka has invented a wonderful new venue for this actioner. Can’t wait to see where the story takes us.

And I haven’t started Chelsea’s book but she’s money in the bank. Saying Chelsea Cain’s writing is exciting is like saying the Atlantic Ocean is wet.


Chelsea Cain’s Casting Call

The news this week is that the FX Channel has optioned a TV pilot based on the thriller novels by Portland’s own Chelsea Cain.

Portland’s own Storm Large, portraying arguably the best-known character created by a Portland author … ever. This is a match made in heaven. Or in the secret laboratory of an evil genius. Whichever.

Which, of course, will lead to speculation about casting. In a series like this, casting will be all-important.

I’m a huge fan of Chelsea’s novels (and Chelsea’s journalism, and Chelsea in general). But unlike most readers I speak to, I don’t believe Gretchen Lowell – the psychotic serial killer – stands at the heart of the narrative. Archie Sheridan, the tortured and troubled cop, and Susan Ward, the neurotic young journalist, do.

So while the rest of fandom begins the inevitable bantering about who gets to play the psychosexual mastermind, Gretchen, I’ll be most keenly interested in who gets the roles of Archie and Susan.

Of course, someone already has played the role of Gretchen – at least, on Chelsea’s webpage. Singer, songwriter Storm Large brought an unsettling intensity to the photo shoot. Then again, I’ve met Storm and she’d bring an unsettling intensity to eating Cheerios. Just saying.

Any suggestions, folks?

FX Raises Cain

“Hello, Ms. Cain? It’s Hollywood on Line 2.”

Portland’s own Chelsea Cain just got the news that the FX television channel has optioned her series of novels for a series! The news broke yesterday.

Chelsea is the author of the creepy and excellent thrillers HEART SICK, SWEETHEART and EVIL AT HEART, among others. The books star flawed and tortured detective Archie Sheridan and neurotic young journalist Susan Ward, facing off against Gretchen Lowell, therapist turned psychosexual mastermind serial killer.

The books are absolute must-reads for anyone who wants to be kept up at night with books that you cannot put down. And they’re also perfectly cinematic. My question to Hollywood: What took you so long?

The pilot has not been picked up yet, so the whole project isn’t quite a done deal. But Chelsea’s books would fit in nicely with FX’s current lineup of edgy, well-written dramas, such as JUSTIFIED.

Chelsea is my fellow Minotaur writer, so this is good news for the family. Nicely done, CC! I’ll make the popcorn.

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