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.
Hi and welcome to my review of Perfect Remains! Many thanks to Sanjana at Avon for the tour invite and audio code!
Perfect Remains was first published in 2017. With over 7000 ratings and 600 reviews on Goodreads, I’m guessing some of you must have read it already! So why is there a tour now? Well, the narration for this audiobook has been re-recorded by Robin Laing, who has been the voice of Helen Field’s DI Callanach thrillers since the second instalment, Perfect Prey. Incidentally, and in case the name doesn’t ring any bells, Robin is a Scottish actor known for titles such as Band of Brothers and Outlaw King.
Confession time! Unless you count Degrees of Guilt, which Helen has written under the name HS Chandler, I haven’t read a single Helen Fields novel. WHY NOT??? Where have I been?! Well it seems I have been living under a rock, but let me assure you, I have crawled out from under it and I have finally read (listened to) my very first Helen Fields novel and oh what a treat it was!
Perfect Remains introduces DI Luc Callanach, former Interpol, former resident of France, now coming to work and live in Edinburgh. I gotta say: love him! A complicated man with a complicated background, I loved finding out what makes him tick. The poor guy barely has time to make himself at home before he’s slapped in the face with a murder investigation: his missing person has been found, or rather what’s left of her. Or is she? Her abductor is no ordinary killer, he knows what he wants, and he knows how to cover his tracks and set the police off on a wild goose chase. I’ve been rather obsessed with serial killer novels lately, I’ve read my way through the entire MK4 trilogy, there was Snakes and Ladders and All the Wrong Places, but none of those killers scared me as much as this one. He’s obviously not quite right in the mind, well, serial killers usually aren’t, but this one truly has a screw loose, and that combined with his ruthlessness and viciousness, damn well did my head in, although I think a large part of that is due to the excellent narration.
Let’s be honest here, I read the word Scottish and my eyes brighten, oh yes they do! If you’re a regular here, you’ll know I’m a sucker for Scottish accents, I can’t help it! Seriously, I’d listen to Groundskeeper Willie read me a story all day long…
Or maybe not… But obviously a great accent alone does not make a great audiobook! Luckily, his accent is just one of the many fortes of Robin Laing’s! He does an amazing Callanach! We’re talking here about a man born in Scotland but raised in France, he’s bilingual but obviously his many years speaking French have influenced his English, lacing it with a French accent. Laing nails this! The French accent is there, but never in a way that it distracts from the story. He tweaks his voice to accommodate for various male and female characters, and while you’ll always hear it’s a man doing the talking, the female voices are performed more than adequately. The best voice though? The killer’s! Holy moly, did that scare the bejesus out of me! Helen Fields has written a despicable, psychopathic character that is scary enough all on its own, but with Laing’s narration adding to that, his voice so chilling and cruel, you can just picture the evil sneer on the killer’s face, haunting!
Perfect Remains is an entertaining, chilling and riveting serial killer thriller / police procedural that I very much enjoyed, with the narration enhancing the narrative. I will most certainly be listening to the next instalment. Recommended!