Review: Remnants by Carolyn Arnold

All that remains are whispers of the past…

When multiple body parts are recovered from the Little Ogeechee River in Savannah, Georgia, local law enforcement calls in FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher and his team to investigate. But with the remains pointing to three separate victims, this isn’t proving to be an open-and-shut case.

With no quick means of identifying the deceased, building a profile of this serial killer is more challenging than usual. How are these targets being selected? Why are their limbs being severed and their bodies mutilated? And what is it about them that is triggering this person to murder?

The questions compound as the body count continues to rise, and when a torso painted blue and missing its heart is found, the case takes an even darker turn. But this is only the beginning, and these new leads draw the FBI into a creepy psychological nightmare. One thing is clear, though: The killing isn’t going to stop until they figure it all out. And they are running out of time…


Song For This Book: I Shot The Sheriff by Bob Marley 
Why? I always feel the need to use this song when I read police books. There just aren’t enough good police songs.


I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Crime and murder mystery stories are nothing new to us these days. There are a ton of television series, movies, and books that follow crime investigators or serial killers. If I asked you to name some of the ones you’ve heard of, you could probably come up with a fairly long list without any hesitation. Which leads to an issue with this particular style of book: Can the author/actors/producers make their story stand out in very large crowd?

Unfortunately, Arnold gave us another generic serial killer story. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book. It’s a fun, action packed adventure, with some decent twists and a great pace. But honestly, this could be another Criminal Minds or CSI episode, Ian Rankin book, or whatever crime series you prefer, and you’d think nothing of it. Nothing really catches you by surprise, the plot twists are fairly standard for these sorts of stories, and relies a little too heavily on cliches.

The Good Points of Remnants:

The pace for this book is amazing. It would be so easy to get into the plot and race along with the characters to try and catch the killer. Arnold doesn’t get too bogged down in details or descriptions, rather focusing on the investigation and what the FBI are learning.

You know all those books that you were told read fine as a standalone, despite being part of a series, but you were completely lost? Yeah, this is not one of those books. I’ve not read any other books in the Brandon Fisher series, but I had no issue getting into this. There are probably some details that would make more sense if you read the rest, but you don’t need to.

I liked how Arnold handled the changing points of view. Brandon’s was in first person, while the killer’s and his coworkers were in third, which could have be awful. But it was actually very easy to follow, and filled in the details of the story wonderfully. Authors writing from multiple points of view could learn something from Arnold.

The Downsides of Remnants:

This book is so generic as far as serial killer/crime novels go. It feels very ‘fill-in-the-blanks’ as far as the unsub and cast of characters go. There were some fun, interesting aspects about it, but not enough to really make this book stand out.

The characters were very two-dimensional. After reading the whole book, I only knew a little about each of the characters, including Brandon, who told most of the story. I realize that the focus of the book is on the crime investigation, but some fleshed out characters would have made this book far more interesting, especially considering that this is the sixth book in the series.

So many crime story cliches! Or maybe it’s just because I’ve studied both abnormal and forensic psychology. But Arnold made some seriously overdone mental state choices, and then didn’t flesh them out well enough to make it interesting.

All in all, I did enjoy reading Remnants, but I wasn’t particularly impressed by it. It was about as generic as these sorts of books come, and there was nothing new brought to the table. But the pacing is amazing and the writing when it comes to the changing points of view does stand out amongst some of the other books. If you’re a fan of Criminal Minds, Ian Rankin, CSI, or crime or thriller books as a general, this one might be worth checking out.

Remnants hits the shelves on April 11, 2017!

Find Remnants on Book Depository

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