Book Review: Perfect Remains (A DI Callanach Thriller #1), by Helen Fields #PerfectRemains

Publisher: Avon Books UK

Publication date: 26th January 2017


Perfectly acceptable reasons to love Perfect Remains:

perfect-remains-blk-coverAN AMBITIOUS ODDBALL with a CUNNING PLAN

Do you love to hate a deluded menace in pursuit of their warped personal goal?? Well this one’s a meticulous ploster with a talent for creeping people out without even trying. It’s always someone else’s fault of course, or so their conscience deceives them. They can’t quite grasp that the only reason people start to leave a room is because they’ve entered it. As you know their identity from the off you may be lulled into believing they’ve already done their worst – WRONG!

Interests include: Applying empathy in moderation, being ingratiating to a fault, discovering inventive methods of disposal, and amateur dentistry.


Aaah. DI Luc Callanach. I suppose ought to explain why, hadn’t I? Okay, he’s an attractive Frenchman and has curiously exchanged Interpol for a Police Station in Edinburgh. With a dark stain from his past clinging to him, Callanach has a tendency to be brusque in tone and has zero tolerance when it comes to people trying the patience he no longer has. After a greeting by the official unwelcoming committee he discovers at least one ally in the force, respected DI Ava Turner. While this cinema loving detective is investigating a desperately saddening case of a series of abandoned babies, Callanach relies on Ava’s little words of wisdom to curb his surly side as he hunts for his invisible killer giving careful consideration to the murder scene.

Interests include: Retaliating to wisecracks with an involuntary scowl, attempting to interpret the local dialect (despite being half-Scottish himself), and steering clear of all conversations that start, “so why did you leave France then?”


The totally unsuspecting victims are going about their days without the slightest hint they have a target on their backs. The only option is to accept their fate as their world falls into a cesspit of despair, where the only thing that will be found is their remains… a molar, a charred body part, you get the idea. Families and colleagues are distressed by developments and the police have absolutely no idea who could be responsible for their loved one’s demise.

Are they alive, dead, or something much, much worse? As a reader the truth wasn’t kept from me, but the story follows the frustration of the police as they hunt the missing puzzle pieces. The outcome of each new event threatens to be consistently grim, only to be reinforced by that contemptible rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’…


Perfect Remains starts as it means to go on and ends with a wow. It’s gruesome fayre in places, particularly during scenes of the victims’ captivity. The ominously remote locations, evidence that taunts the authorities, and a culprit that evades capture with a snotty superiority are a gift for a plot of this nature. Enigmatic DI Luc Callanach steals the show and his dialogue was such a bonus; when he was ‘speaking’ he conjured the most wonderful French accent in my head – just be relieved that I don’t read aloud!

Terrific characters with plenty to fearand absolutely recommended.

Rating:  4/5

(I received a copy of this title from the publisher with my thanks, and it is my pleasure to provide an unbiased review.)


(Courtesy of Proof Copy supplied by publisher)

First he takes them…

then he breaks them…

On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing.

In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness…



(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Helen Fields studied law at the University of East Anglia, then went on to the Inns of Court School of Law in London. After completing her pupillage, she joined chambers in Middle Temple where she practised criminal and family law for thirteen years. After her second child was born, Helen left the Bar.

Together with her husband David, she runs a film production company, acting as script writer and producer. Perfect Remains is set in Scotland, where Helen feels most at one with the world. Helen and her husband now live in Hampshire with their three children and two dogs.