Perfect Remains is book #1 of the DI Callanach police crime thriller series, set in Edinburgh. I discovered this book and author after reading an article in The Basingstoke Gazette, one of my local papers.
The story opens with a gruesome sacrifice of a woman’s body in a bothy up in the Cairngorm Mountains. Local police believe the body might be that of Elaine Buxton, a missing city lawyer. Detective Inspector Luc Callanach is a recent transfer to Scotland’s Police from Interpol. His arrival has met with some hostility amongst the ranks.
A second woman’s body is found; again, that of a professional woman. Once again, the killer leaves an almost unidentifiable body. With few clues, Callanach is forced to accept help from Professor Harris, a character profiler. However, Callanach feels that Harris distracts the team from the real hunt for the killer.
The murderer leaves only clues he wants the police to follow, but his treatment of the victims becomes erratic as the net closes in.
The storyline flowed well, with plenty of red herrings and plot twists, and a hint of potential romance. DI Callanach was a clichéd flawed detective with baggage to deal with, and the Scottish setting for police crime dramas is a bit hackneyed; however, the book did have me reading long into the night. Callanach’s background is dripfed to the reader, which I liked, and it brought up a few welcome surprises. I enjoyed DI Ava Turner’s character, too; her straight-talking dialogue was fun and refreshing.
I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys police crime books, or those who like a Scottish setting for a book and are happy to read about gruesome murders! I must just add that, unlike most police procedurals, in this story the reader discovers early on who the killer is, and the storyline centres around how the police finally get their man – I know for some people the ‘whodunnit’ aspect is all important, so I think this needs mentioning.
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On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing.
In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness.
Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine’s missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he’s eager to prove himself to his new team. But Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine’s killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care.
It’s not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes … The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined.
About the author
Helen Fields lives in North Waltham, Hampshire. Helen has been a barrister and drew on her experience when writing. Perfect remains is the first book in this three book detective series, with book two due out in the summer of 2017. Helen has revealed that the TV rights for this series have already been sold to a big TV company.