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    Gripping & Intriguing! 4.5 stars

    *Reviewed for Books & Benches Gripping & Intriguing! 4.5 stars Carolyn Arnold is a new author for me, and she didn't disappoint with REMNANTS, the sixth book of her Brandon Fisher FBI series. I have to mention that this is not my usual read, but when I saw it at Books & Benches I became intrigued and requested it. Even if it's part of a series, REMNANTS can be read as a stand-alone book. The fast pace, great action, and this author's writing style, makes this thriller very suspenseful. She wrote the plot well and slowly built a suspense that pulls you right into the action. It will keep you sitting on the edge of your seat and grab your attention from the first page until the very end. The story starts as the killer is looking for his next victim. The Little Ogeechee River in Savannah is the set where multiple body parts are being found—parts that belong to at least three victims. FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher, along with his team, are asked to profile in this investigation. Brandon needs to find this serial killer soon because the murderer may escalate and find potential victims. So many clues and questions need to be answered! Why is this person killing all these innocent people? What triggers him? Can Brandon and his team, find him in time? Lots of twists and turns! If you're a fan of TV shows like CSI and Criminal Minds, then you'll like REMNANTS. Beware, you won't be able to put it down, or just read fast enough to know what will happen next.
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    Suspenseful and creepy procedural

    Suspenseful thriller set in Georgia. Great if you are into procedural mysteries and ready for some creepy scenes. As many book bloggers, I receive a lot of offers of books every week. The synopsis of Remnants sounded very promising, so I succumbed and said yes. It was actually quite well done and I’m glad to talk about it today. NB for authors and publishers: work hard on your synopsis! I noticed that Carolyne Arnold’s Marketing & Sales Director, her own husband, provides even three different size synopses to the reviewers. Well done! The book opens in a mall in Atlanta, when a killer selects his victim. Then we are sent to Savannah four days later, on St Valentine’s Day, with four FBI agents in charge of a special investigation, as human remains were found on a nearby river and marshland area. The body parts actually belong to three different victims, all white men in their twenties. The discovery of a torso painted blue, its heart removed, opens unto some interesting cultural data. Many chapters actually alternate between the FBI agents and the killer’s actions and perspective. You really get the feeling you enter into the killer’s psychology. I’m not going to reveal more about the mystery. It is well built, with plenty of possible leads and red-herrings to keep you guessing for a while, and lots of suspense. Just a word of warning for a few violent sacrificial scenes… This is actually the sixth installment in the Brandon Fisher FBI series, but I never felt I was missing something. I got to know well profiler Brandon, his boss Jack, and the two other agents, Zach and Paige. They are sent two by two to interview various people all through the story, and it was neat to see how they were interacting and working together. Not sure why, but it seems that the common canon for many thrillers includes difficult issues in the personal life of detectives, policemen, and FBI agents. Nothing original here: each has relational problems with their friend or spouse. And the fact that they are called out of town on St Valentine’s Day, instead of having a date night, makes it even worse for them. What I really appreciated was all the procedural aspects of the work: you have the four agents on the Behavioral Analysis Unit, plus an anthropologist, the chief medical examiner at the morgue, a super smart analyst, and a few extra detectives. It was neat to see them brainstorm together, each helping to solve the case. Apart from the main heroes/anti-heroes, there are also plenty of colorful characters, weirdos, and very sick people. Reflecting upon this thriller, I realized there were actually a few points in common with another mystery set in the south (South Carolina) that I read some time ago, and even translated into French: Tell No Lies, by Tanya Ann Crosby. Some scenes in the marshes felt the same, the killer partly does similar things, but for different reasons, and he even has the same first name!
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    Action Packed Crime Novel

    Filled with nonstop action, FBI and police procedures, Remnants will grab the reader immediately. Setting the hook in the first few pages, Arnold, holds the reader in the palm of her hand as she crafts an intense thriller. With twist and turns and excellent plotting, Arnold holds the reader's attention. Arnold crafted several worthy suspects in Remnants and developed them fully; never giving away the villain until absolutely necessary. Arnold gave hints throughout the story-line, but waited until she had built the suspense to high pitch before revealing the identity of the unsub. I found myself with goose bumps as Arnold described the murder scenes. Arnold descriptive prose was skillful and the story-line original.\ Reader also sees the story from the killer's perspective which greatly intensified the suspense in this story. I felt I was watching an episode of Criminal Minds or CSI; the story felt realistic. I felt the characters full-bodied and the police procedures accurate. Finally, in concluding my thriller suspense novel review of Remnants, I found a story which will keep you up at night. It is intense, realistic, and relates to our world today as serial killers become more prolific. I love a good crime novel and this book fits the bill. Additionally, I received this book from the author and chose to voluntarily review the book with an honest thriller suspense crime book/novel review.
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    If you like procedurals, this is it.

    Brandon Fisher, youngest member of his Behaviour Analysis Unit (FBI) team, knew that this case would be another stomach-churning one. After all, they had been called out to Savannah, Georgia to investigate severed body parts fished out of Little Ogeechee River. But, even that gloomy outlook couldn’t have predicted the depths of insanity that this case would lead them into. A serial killer to outdo all serial killers was in Savannah and the only way to find him was by wading through severed feet, missing hearts and blue torsos. I turn to thrillers the way a child would turn to its mother for comfort. It’s comfortable knowing the pattern that you’re stepping into- smart detectives, a few bodies and finally, a killer to behold. Remnants follows the pattern to a tee. The prose is simple and nowhere did it feel especially awkward. It carried the self-importance of an FBI-centred story and the promised glimpses into the personal lives of its heroes and villains. Of course, that is usually the iffy aspect in these otherwise well-written books- the internal ramblings of the main character came off as bratty and whiny and did nothing to increase my love for him. The other characters, however, did justice to their roles and I developed a sweet spot for the rest of his team mates. The creepy factor and suspense were well-handled till the very last moment. In fact, the ending to the mystery was executed so admirably well that I wished away the actual final chapter. The procedural didn’t feel forced or out of the blue and I enjoyed it more than I expected. But, there was a smattering of popcorn psychology towards the end which felt unnecessary given the already well-built storyline. BOTTOMLINE: Do you like Criminal Minds? Well then, look no further. This is Criminal Minds in its novelized version. I was so strongly reminded of the show that I could have finished the review with that single sentence above and I would be justified. Just like that show, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat while reading and make you heave a sigh of relief when it’s done. Just be prepared: the confluence of crazy in this one is astounding!
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