I am absolutely delighted to be taking part in this blog tour celebrating Helen Fields’ debut crime fiction novel. ‘Perfect Remains’ was published on the 26th January in paperback and as an eBook by Avon Books. It’s a book that sounds right up my street and I really can’t wait to read it.
I have an extract for all of my lovely readers, but first here’s what the book is about.
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.
Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine’s missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he’s eager to prove himself to his new team. But Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine’s killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care.
It’s not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes … The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined.
Fans of Angela Marson, Mark Billingham and M. J. Aldridge will be gripped by this chilling journey into the mind of a troubled killer.
Callanach retraced his steps and went back into her bedroom. The bed was bare, the sheets stripped by the forensics team looking for signs of sexual activity and DNA. None but hers had been found. There was minimal makeup in her drawers, only two bottles of perfume in her en-suite cupboard. He opened her wardrobe and found two rows of shoes, split between work and exercise. It was ironic how someone who valued order and neatness so highly could have ended their life in such chaos and trauma. At what point had she realised something was wrong? As soon as she’d left the gym, perhaps. Had someone been following her or was he waiting for her at home? Buxton was fit and healthy. She’d have put up a fight if she hadn’t been taken completely by surprise. There was no sign of a struggle, though.
Finally, among neatly folded sweaters, Callanach saw the one thing that had been missing. A ragged teddy bear peeked down from the top shelf, much loved, by the look of it, too precious to put away with the other childish things. Something to look at every morning and evening as she dressed and undressed. A fragment of warmth in an otherwise formal home. He closed the cupboard door against the bear’s forlorn, waiting stare. It wouldn’t help him find her killer and it didn’t progress matters to dwell upon the human loss. Only science, logic and research solved cases. Elaine’s house offered nothing further. Callanach locked up and was glad to leave the silence and stillness behind.
Calls to her ex-husband Ryan proved unrewarding. He’d been out of contact with her for more than a year. Following the autopsy report, police officers notified Elaine’s mother of her death that afternoon. Callanach was pleased it wasn’t his job on that occasion. No amount of training or experience made delivering death notifications any easier. The press was given the information shortly afterwards, with a renewed request for information. Callanach chased up the friend whose birthday celebration Elaine had attended at the gym and found she’d been more of an acquaintance in reality. They’d shared a Pilates class, worked out together each Wednesday and Friday but didn’t socialise anywhere else. Elaine hadn’t mentioned a boyfriend, she’d told Callanach, not that they chatted about that sort of thing. It was in keeping with the way she lived. Work colleagues all said the same. So, surely, Callanach mused, she’d have noticed someone taking an interest in her, watching her, following her. She was a lawyer. She’d have known there were court orders available to protect her. Was her murderer so restrained that he’d never once revealed himself?
Elaine’s diary and correspondence had been seized as evidence. Callanach took the paperwork home, expecting little more than meetings and reminders in to-do-list form. It had already been inspected by the missing persons team and no useful information had been identified. The diary was A4-sized, with a sheet for each day, the notations proficiently brief.
Hopefully after reading what ‘Perfect Remains’ is about and the extract you’ll be dying to read more. If so, here’s the Amazon UK purchase link:-