The Night Season

Chelsea Cain, Author, Christina Delaine, Read by
Chelsea Cain, read by Christina Delaine. Macmillan Audio, unabridged, seven CDs, 9 hrs., $34.99 ISBN 978-1-4272-1150-7
Reviewed on: 05/02/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
If Cain's new crime novel is to be believed, you don't want to be in Portland, Ore., when the Willamette River rises over its banks. Spunky reporter Susan Ward and depressed police detective Archie Sheridan spend most of the book slogging through slush or swimming for their lives while on the track of a serial killer who uses incurable octopi toxin to dispatch his victims. Putting Archie's homicidal paramour Gretchen Lowell behind bars has allowed Cain to reinvigorate the series, which includes bringing the likable Susan to the fore. This not only makes for a snappier story, it takes advantage of Christina Delaine's inspired interpretation of the ditsy, self-effacing, surprisingly professional reporter and intuitive sleuth. Her sotto voce, monotone Archie is on the money, too. He sounds as if he's still a long way from recovering from the mental and physical damage caused by Lowell. Near the book's end, Susan is locked in the killer's basement with a dead policeman, up to her waist in river water stocked with the deadly mollusks. Author and narrator combine to make it a memorably chilling moment in one of the series' better entries. A Minotaur hardcover. (Mar.)
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