While trekking round Portland for a story for our first ever Summer Guide (hint: it involves corpses and comes out in June), the New York Times–best selling author Chelsea Cain let it slip that she has penned a three-book deal with Simon & Schuster, two of which will jump start a new series. The first book, titled One Kick, is scheduled to hit shelves August 2014. Cain will do a second book in the series, and then—fret not “Beauty Killer” fans—start alternating its stories with future books in her hit thriller series about the detective Archie Sheridan and his hunt for serial killer Gretchen Lowell.

This from Cain about the jist of the new Kick series:

Kick Lannigan was abducted at age six and rescued when she was 11. Now she is 21, and she has spent years honing a very special skill set (target shooting, martial arts, archery, lock picking, etc.). If she's ever kidnapped again, it won't be for long.

Kick has an understandable, if somewhat obsessive, interest in missing kids, and she is following the most recent Amber Alert in the news when an enigmatic man named Evans approaches her with a proposition. Evans made a fortune as a weapons dealer and now wants to make good by using his resources to rescue abducted children. With his money and government contacts and Kick's particular brand of expertise, they could make quite a team, he says.  

Kick reluctantly agrees, and the two quickly become entangled in a missing kid case in Seattle. But Kick can't quite shake the feeling that Evans isn't who he says he is.  SPOILER ALERT: She's right.

As for the setting, Kick lives in Portland. During our tour, Cain said that she intentionally drops Portland landmarks into her books, like burning down the Made in Portland sign, so that any TV series or movie would be forced to film locally. (A well-placed source hinted that there just might be interest from TV Land, although Cain did not confirm).

“All the books will start in Portland but may travel elsewhere, as Kick's cases and my tax deductible vacations require,” said Cain with the dry wit that makes her gruesome tales so entertaining. “If readers start noticing that all the abducted kids in the books seem to go missing from high-end tropical results, you'll know why.”

Let Me Go, Cain's final Sheridan installment with Minotaur Books, comes out this August. Stay tuned for more on the Portland path of carnage that is Cain’s work.

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