The Remains Paperback – 4 Sep 2012
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About the Author
Vincent Zandri, traveler, adventurer, foreign correspondent, and freelance photojournalist, is the international best-selling author of The Innocent, Godchild, Moonlight Falls, Concrete Pearl, Scream Catcher, as well as the digital shorts Pathological and Moonlight Mafia. Harlan Coben has described his work as “gritty, fast-paced, lyrical, and haunting,” while the New York Post calls it “sensational...masterful...brilliant!” In March, April, and May of 2011, he sold more than a hundred thousand Kindle ebook editions of his novels. In September 2011, he signed a major deal with Thomas and Mercer of Amazon for the publication of his new novel, Murder by Moonlight, and the republication of several of his backlist titles. An MFA in writing graduate of Vermont College, Zandri has had his work translated into Dutch, Russian, and Japanese. He lives in New York, spending several months in Florence, Italy, each year writing.
Top customer reviews
The premise to this creepy tale is good but I didn't feel anything for Rebecca despite the graphic descriptions of the terror she felt, I just couldn't connect. This story rattles along, it is certainly creepy however, I was slightly turned off by the notion that Molly would contact her sister from beyond the grave, but as paranormal happenings are not my thing, this may appeal to many other readers.
I can imagine this is a good book to read on a cold dark night and if, unlike me, you identify more with Rebecca, it may well give you a good scare.
I won't bother you with a story synopsis - others here have already provided one and the introduction in the product description above is enough to get you started.
I didn't find the principal character, artist/teacher Rebecca, to be anything more than a stereotype - the job description is just window dressing to get the reader into the art school where the story kicks off. The autistic savant painter Franny and his enigmatic output is the useful device upon which hangs the plot proposition, which is an ingenious idea as far as it goes, but the early notions of "extrasensory perception" or "messages beyond the grave" - mooted at, presumably because Rebecca and Molly were twins - is half-witted nonsense that Zandri wisely doesn't push too much - it would have been better left out altogether, as it weakens the heroine's credibility. Back in the real world - so to speak, the first part of the story labelled "The City" builds up a nicely constructed psychological tension; the second part "The Woods", is where it all unravels into predictability and disbelief. You'll tumble to the bad guy early on; this character is the main source of the disappointment I found with the novel.
If you've read many thrillers you will no doubt have encountered the "prisoner on parole" who somehow has a lot of time on his hands, considerable unexplained resources and amazing ability to get around quickly and seemingly at will; give him an annoying catch-phrase to repeat and you have yet another clichéd character - the biggest trap the author could have walked into - and he does so with both feet.
"The Remains" doesn't stand out from the crowded, tired genre of psychological thrillers; it's not a bad novel - it builds up a head of steam from quite early on and rattles along at a good rate of knots - but the chase scene and the cartoon realisation of the villain reduces this to a by-the-numbers effort, it has an almost made-for-TV screenplay feel about it - straight to DVD too, for this reader.
If you`ve read a lot of thrillers, this isn't offering anything exceptional; it`s entertaining enough, it's a fast read but it's only okay - you may enjoy it more than me, but I doubt if I'll be looking to read anything else by Zandri.
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