Having joined this series with the fourth book in the series featuring David Raker, Vanished, and having awarded that one the full five stars I was equally impressed with the fifth, Fall From Grace but in this book the chief protagonist isn’t looking for a missing person, he is looking at a cold case. To be honest I wasn’t overly impressed with the change of direction, I liked the fact that we had books which didn’t feature a murder hunt but were still full of action.
In this book Raker meets an old friend Colm Healy who has been haunted by the murder of Gail Clark and her twin daughters Abigail and April back in 2010, the case hadn’t been solved and Colm’s life had gone into freefall. First his job went, then his marriage, his house and his friends all disappeared, all except Raker. While the Missing Persons Private Investigator takes a little convincing, he eventually agrees and starts to investigate, but this time he has little to go on as the murdered woman has few social contacts to give him a lead. Still he still has some friends in useful places to assist should he find any corner to peel back, and of course he does, this is investigator extraordinaire, David Raker.
This is a complicated, and long story at over 550 pages, and several times I thought that the end was in sight only for the plot to twist in a different direction often seemingly back on itself as Raker doesn’t only want to find out how the shadowy villains are connected but why they murdered two innocent eight year olds. The somewhat convoluted storyline is compensated for by the excellent writing, Tim Weaver captures a wide range of emotions better than any other crime writer I can think of, and although the pace was patchy in places I was engaged in the hunt for the perpetrator. As with the other two books in this series, there is a depth to the investigation with parts of London bought to life albeit with a dark shadow falling across the familiar and less known landmarks. With an almost ghostly feel to the investigation the setting on a disused pier in Wapping seemed perfectly suited as was the labyrinth of Camden market when a lead took the men to an antique shop.
This book contained far more violence than the previous two, partly I suspect because of the nature of the fact that the investigation was into a murder rather than a missing person, but overall it didn’t feel gratuitous and the skill of the author had me genuinely concerned about the suffering inflicted on some of the characters.
The real lynch-pin to the story is will Raker become as consumed by finding out what happened to Gail Clark and those two innocent girls as Healy was. Will he be able to live with himself, continue to build his life with his recently discovered daughter and maybe even a relationship if he doesn’t get a complete answer? What will remain indeed!
I’d like to thank Penguin UK for allowing me to read What Remains which was published on 16 July 2015 in return for my honest opinion.