Remnants (Brandon Fisher FBI Series #6), by Carolyn Arnold

This book, and this series, has a lot to offer fans of police/FBI procedurals. I picked up this book during a free download offer and I was happy to discover a new author whose books I can now look forward to reading. There is some backstory from earlier books in the series that is sometimes difficult to glean, but this book stands well on its own for a new reader. I’d recommend going back to the beginning of the series, however, since there is (apparently) a lot of information about the characters there that will enhance your enjoyment of this book.

On its own, Remnants finds FBI field agent Brandon Fisher on a sudden road trip to Savannah to chase down a serial killer. Brandon is joined by his boss, Jack, another field agent, Zach, and Paige, whom Brandon loves, but can’t pursue romantically due to departmental regulations that forbid agents from dating. They are in Savannah because body parts from at least three murder victims have washed up in a local river. The author gives us a peek at the killer in the prologue.  Then, in chapters sprinkled throughout the book, we get more scenes from the killer’s perspective. There’s a bit of misdirection involved, which keeps the reader guessing (or thinking down the wrong path) as the FBI team tries to piece together clues. They figure out pretty quickly that the killings are part of a ritual “sacrifice” inspired by the Mayan civilization from ancient Mexico, which includes some gruesome details. The question is who’s doing the killing, and where? And why are the body parts chopped up? And how did they end up in the river?

The author leads us through the investigation is a pretty standard step-by-step police procedural format. There are a few leaps of logic along the way, and a few helpful coincidences as the heroes zero in on the killer. Once one character becomes the obvious focus, there are other twists and the introduction of additional characters towards the end who turn out to be involved. I was surprised by several of the ending reveals, although there was no real chance for a reader to have figured them out. Still, following the action to the final uncovering is a fun ride.

The writing here is excellent, aside from an overuse of the term “unsub” and far too many ellipses for my personal taste. But, the book is full of delicious prose and entertaining descriptions and dialogue that are all well-edited.  The love lives of the characters are chronicled at the very beginning and very end of the book, but there is nothing going on between Brandon and Paige during the story, and the romantic elements seem to be tacked on here rather than really being an important element of this story.

On balance, this is a quick and entertaining read and one that will make you want to seek out other books from Ms. Arnold. So, exactly what she had in mind by running a free book offer!


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