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Perfect Remains - Helen Sarah Fields

Luc Callanach has moved from Interpol and his home in France. He has returned to Edinburgh, drawn by a Scottish father he can barely remember and trying to leave behind his past. Thrown straight in at the deep end, his first case as Detective Inspector is to look into the case of Elaine Buxton, when her missing persons case turns into a murder investigation. When another woman goes missing Luc and his team are on a race to find her before she befalls the same fate as Elaine.


This book is a break from the norm in that the reader learns about the perpetrator from the very beginning. The opening is quite gruesome, with more than one occasion in the book that may cause a reader to wince or cringe and we see into the mind of a twisted individual. As the story progresses we learn more about this person and what drives them to do the things they do. As the story develops the reader becomes more and more involved in the case and ever more eager for the perpetrator to be caught.

Along side this we see how Luc and his team progress with the case. The reader is privy to more information than the detectives so rather than a whodunit, this story is more of a look at how the police work out who the perpetrator is. This technique is a double-edged sword. It was refreshing to read a book and not be trying to figure out who was at fault. But I also found myself shouting and sighing at the police when they missed an obvious (to the reader) clue.


I wasn’t sure what to make of Luc Callanach. There is much to like about him, he is tenacious, driven and forthright. But there are a couple of aspects about his personality that tarnish him, little things that made me not quite like him. It didn’t stop me liking reading about him. His team are a mixed bunch, there are the newer officers, eager to please and less inclined towards judging. There are those who are more defiant, quick to rush to judgement, with obvious effects on the team and the case as a result. Then there is DI Ava Turner. She is acerbic, quick-witted and the perfect partner for Callanach.


This was an interesting, entertaining crime drama, with a variety of characters, with interesting back stories and a chilling villain.


Perfect Remains is the first in the Luc Callanach series. I look forward to reading more novels featuring Callanach and Turner soon.