Review: What Remains by Tim Weaver

Thursday 16 July 2015
Title: What Remains
Author: Tim Weaver
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 16th July 2015
Pages: 562
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Colm Healy used to be one of the Met's best detectives. Until, haunted by the unsolved murders of a mother and her twin daughters, his life was left in ruins. His failure to find an elusive killer - or even a motive for such a merciless crime - consumed him, his career and his family.

Missing persons investigator David Raker is the only friend Healy has left. The only one who understands that redemption rests on solving these murders. As they reopen the investigation together, Raker learns the hard way how this case breeds obsession - and how an unsolvable puzzle can break even the best detective.

Their search will take them down a trail of darkness, unravelling a thread of tragedy spanning years, and will force them to sacrifice everything they have left...

To say I was excited about the release of Tim Weaver's What Remains would be something of an understatement. It was one of my most anticipated books of 2015 and so I was beyond thrilled when I received an early review copy. Tim's David Raker series is one of my favourites, and I always finish each installment saying that it was the best one so far and I'm saying that very same thing with What Remains as it really is his best book so far and one of the best I've read this year.

Missing persons investigator David Raker is finishing up on a case when he meets up with Colm Healy, for those new to the series they have a complicated history that I can't go into without spoilers but they do have an interesting relationship which could be loosely described as a friendship (sometimes). Colm Healy used to be one of the Met's best detectives until his failure to solve a case ruined both his life and his career. Healy is determined to find out who killed a mother and her two daughters and knows that if anyone can help him with that, it's Raker. Healy is an extremely damaged individual and in What Remains (and the books that came before) we really see the effect that a failure to solve such a brutal case can have on a police officer. It is a powerful and poignant story.

David Raker in the first few books had nothing to live for after the death of his wife. He found solace in the lives of the missing, seeing it as his calling to bring them home. Recently however he discovered that he fathered a child some years ago. Ordinarily Raker has no qualms about putting his own life in danger whilst on a case, however now that he has an adult daughter it adds a new dynamic to the story and and it's intriguing to witness how this has an effect on his life and 'job'. No sooner does Raker sit down to talk through the case with Healy than his daughter calls about an accident her younger sister has been involved in. Raker heads down to the hospital leaving behind an extremely angry and agitated Healy, and that's the last time Raker would see him for nine months.

I found myself once again completely consumed by this story and that's what I love most about Tim's books. It is so easy to just lose yourself in them (no pun intended). They are always so well researched and plotted that they are just a joy to read. In fact they are so intricately plotted that I would love to know how Tim sets about writing them, and how much of the story even he knows beforehand. He knows exactly how to hook a reader in, not giving too much of the story away in the beginning and making sure that there's enough red herrings and twists to throw most of us off the scent. I've said before not to bother trying to guess where the story will go, just sit back and enjoy the ride. There are some incredible developments in What Remains, some that well and truly slapped me in the face and left me reeling.

What Remains is a gripping read from start to finish and is a book that Tim Weaver fans old and new will love too. This is one of my favourite series and I have reviews of the previous books in the series on my blog for those that have missed them. If you already have this book and series on your TBR then do yourself a favour and pick them up right now. If you don't, then why not? Incredible fiction from a born storyteller and I can't wait to read what he writes next.

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