Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

What Remains – Tim Weaver

Crime Fiction 4*s
Crime Fiction
4*s

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.

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

Fall From Grace – Tim Weaver

Crime Fiction 5*'s
Crime Fiction
5*’s

David Raker makes his fifth outing as the Private Investigator that locates missing people, a thorn in the side of the Metropolitan Police because although he normally finds what he is looking for it is done by playing by the rules, but now a member of the force is looking for his help in tracking down her father Leonard Franks.

The trail for Franks is set across Dartmoor where he and his wife Melanie moved to enjoy a retirement in an oasis of calm after years of top level policing in London. David Raker takes the case and sets about putting the meagre clues left behind to work out what had happened to a man who appears to have disappeared into thin air.

I have only read the third book in this series, Vanished, which I awarded five stars, and in the meantime I’d forgotten quite how much I enjoy the quality of Tim Weaver’s writing. As a reader I care about David Raker, the plot is full of twists and turns with danger appearing to lurk around every corner but at no point did I feel that the tale had veered off the path of reality. Don’t get me wrong, as in Vanished there are some characters that you wouldn’t want to meet in broad daylight, let alone on a dark night, but once unravelled their motives are understandable.

Underpinning this book are the secrets kept hidden along with relationships of almost every description: friends, colleagues, partners, parental and sibling and at no point do any of these feel out of place but instead add to the complexity of this novel.

To break up the current investigation into Franks death we are treated to some psych evaluations going back many years, the purpose of these isn’t immediately obvious but even while I was waiting for this to become clear they add to the feeling of menace that threads through this book.

This can be easily read as a stand-alone book, although like me, you may regret not reading the books in order as there was quite a big piece to the story arc that I missed by not reading the fourth book, Chasing the Dead. I am now going back to the beginning to read this set in order, the writing is too clever and too captivating for me to miss out on a single sentence of Tim Weaver’s writing, he has now sealed his position of an author whose books I need to read, no more languishing on the TBR pile.

I want to say an enormous thank you to Penguin Books (UK) for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for my honest opinion. Fall From Grace was published on 14 August 2014.

David Raker Series in order:

Chasing The Dead
The Dead Tracks
Vanished
Never Coming Back
Fall From Grace