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Monday, 8 August 2011

The Remains, by Vincent Zandri, Reviewed.


A 30 year old sex crime haunts this story of irrational revenge, obsession and predation. Identical twins star, with the living sister providing a point of view character, surprisingly well-created by the male author. The unlikely savant hero and the rejected husband make fascinating male protagonists in a tale that twists and turns its way to a final, almost inevitable, climax.
Along the way, the reader is treated to depictions of the Maine landscape that contain threat as well as charm. The author’s insight into the workings of the savant’s restricted genius takes us into a world both strange and intriguing. The heroine, although suffering the consequences of her part in a criminal traumatic incident during childhood, grows through the story to learn courage and increased self-esteem.
It is interesting that, in this novel, which is essentially a crime thriller, neither the criminal nor the investigating officer take prominent roles. However, the emotional and threatening influence of the sinister madman cause an undercurrent of unease and menace throughout the tale.
The denouement, beginning quite early on for this genre, builds through several climaxes, each brining its own tensions and apparent closure. The final scene is both satisfactorily inevitable and surprising.
This is a novel that moves (in both senses of the word), scares and intrigues and is one I’d class as a damned good read.
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