Book Review: Perfect Remains (Helen Fields)

In a remote mountain, a body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify her body will be her teeth.   In a basement, not far away, the real Elaine Buxton screams in the darkness after having all her teeth removed. Detective Luc Callanach is called in to work on the case, days into his job, and begins investigating this murder with no leads and no evidence to be found.   When another woman is abducted, it becomes a race against time to find her before she meets the same fate; what Luc doesn’t realize is that these women are facing a different fate. Will Luc figure out the truth before it is too late? 

Perfect Remains, by Helen Fields, is a police procedural novel featuring police detective Luc Callanach. This novel had all the components of a thrilling police procedural; a nasty, bone-chilling antagonist, a complex, original plot, and an intriguing lead.

The novel opens with a bang; a nameless killer is meticulously preparing and laying out a body to be found my law enforcement. He sets the stage, placing his props to send the police in the wrong direction before leaving the scene to handle a target he has locked in his basement. What a chilling way to open this novel! I had to keep reading to find out more.   Enter, Luc Callanach, a new Detective working his first few days on the job after a transfer from Interpol. He is thrown directly into this case and begins to unravel its pieces.

Fields was able to provide a plethora of complex characters and I enjoyed the development of these characters immensely; I especially loved Luc Callanach, which is lucky for me since this novel is the first in this series featuring this detective. His sordid past and saucy attitude made for interesting reading. I also loved Ava Turner and the relationship these two characters share. I will be looking forward to watching this develop further in future novels.

The novel is told through alternating chapters between Callanach and his department, as he investigates the murders and works on other cases, and by the murderer himself as he covers his tracks and abducts his victims. It will be no surprise that my favourite chapters were the ones focusing on Dr. King and his murderous tendencies. He was calculated, patient and downright creepy.  Fields writes this narrative brilliantly!

This novel is also original in the fact that there were multiple story lines going throughout the plot. I found that this aspect made it more realistic as any police jurisdiction would be working on multiple cases at a time. However, I did find that it took away slightly from the main plot and I was constantly waiting for the stories to intercept.  I also found that this made the story lag a little for me in the middle.

Although a little slower paced then I generally enjoy my reading, I did enjoy the first in this series and will be waiting to see what else Luc Callanach will offer in novels to come; excellent, well-written debut by Helen Fields.   If you are a fan of a classic police procedural, then you’ll love this novel.  This one hits shelves on January 23, 2017!

Thanks to Harper Collins Canada and Helen Fields for a copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

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