Perfect Remains by Helen Fields reviewed

Perfect Remains: A gripping crime thriller that isn’t for the faint-hearted (A DI Callanach Thriller) Book Cover Perfect Remains: A gripping crime thriller that isn’t for the faint-hearted (A DI Callanach Thriller)
Helen Fields
HarperCollins UK
January 26, 2017

‘A superb debut!’ Reader review ‘I was utterly gripped and addicted and can’t wait for the next book.’ Reader review The first in a nail-shredding new crime series. Fans of M.J. Arlidge and Mo Hayder will be gripped from start to finish.

The outline blurb of Perfect Remains by Helen Fields looked interesting. Police from Edinburgh are investigating the discovery of a burnt body in the Cairngorms. This may relate to a missing person enquiry in the city. Luc Callanach is in charge and is part Scottish and part French and has only just started working in Edinburgh. He is a Detective Inspector. It’s one of those stories where we know who the murderer is very early on. The question is how many murders has he committed and how many more will there be.

Initially I found the story slightly unappealing. The way Luc deals with his team (and they with him) felt awkward and wrong to some degree. There is fairly extreme violence in this book too – beyond what I would probably like. It was tagged as “fans of M J Arlidge will be gripped”. I am one, I wasn’t and this didn’t not feel anything like Arlidge’s writing to start with. However the story did draw me in fairly quickly and quite easily.

As I read more the writing felt better and the characters started to develop quite nicely. As we gradually find out more about Luc – he has a “past” – I grew to like him. I also liked his fellow DI, Ava Turner, almost from the start. Indeed I found the case she was working on a better story that the one about the murders initially.

Warming to the story I realised that, although violent, the murderer, Dr King, was a very well drawn character. His planning most of the time is meticulous and makes for a good story. By the time I was halfway through I really was reluctant to put this book down. The tension mounts and I certainly found the ending satisfactory.

In the end I did enjoy reading this even though it was a bit violent. It was well paced and populated with good characters. I’d certainly like to read the next Luc Callanach story.

Note – I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review