February 22, 2024

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Book Reviews, And Author Interviews

Read What Remains, by Wendy Walker, On The Floor, Because It Will Floor You

What Remains By Wendy Walker- Summary

Goodreads summary of What Remains by Wendy Walker (review below):

Detective Elise Sutton is drawn to cold cases. Each crime is a puzzle to solve, pulled from the past. Elise looks for cracks in the surface and has become an expert on how murderers slip up and give themselves away. She has dedicated her life to creating a sense of order at work with her ex-marine partner; at home with her husband and two young daughters; and within, battling her own demons. Elise has everything under control until one afternoon when she walks into a department store and is forced to make a terrible choice: to save one life, she will have to take another.

Elise is hailed as a hero, but she doesn’t feel like one. Steeped in guilt and on a leave of absence from work, she’s numb, even to her husband and daughters, until she connects with Wade Austin, the tall man whose life she saved. But Elise soon realizes that he isn’t who he says he is. In fact, Wade Austin isn’t even his real name. The tall man is a ghost, one who will set off a terrifying game of cat and mouse, threatening Elise and the people she loves most.

What Remains By Wendy Walker- Review

The review of Wendy Walker’s latest What Remains will be structured differently than other reviews. I won’t break out the characters separately because I don’t want to give too much away. The less you know going in, the better. So, I will make this as powerful and brief as possible.

What Remains is an actual cat-and-mouse game. So many books claim to encompass the cat-and-mouse structure, but few follow through. Wendy Walker doesn’t just follow through; she sets the standard for it. Between character decisions, motives, and actions, What Remains is the real thing.

Moreover, it isn’t the only piece of this devious puzzle. Wendy Walker kicks off What Remains brilliantly with a subject that will resonate with most- a public shooting. From there, the book never stops in pace, in twists, and in me throwing things because I just put the pieces together. Much as I said in my review of The Split by S.J. Bolton, I swore I would beat Wendy Walker. I wasn’t even in the same league to beat her.

ReviewThank you to Blackstone Publishing For An Advanced Audio of What Remains, By Wendy Walker, Which was Released on June 13th.

Another unique feature of What Remains is the balance between a character and a plot-driven story. It isn’t one or the other but a happy medium that elevates What Remains. I will say that, in my opinion, Wendy Walker is at her best with the plot. That isn’t to say that anything is lacking with the characters. It is quite the opposite. The emotional upheaval the characters suffer post-shooting is perfectly plotted. When Elise expresses that she didn’t want to kill the shooter, but the person who put the gun in his hands? I felt it in my bones. However, if you made me choose, the plot-driven side of the story wins.

Here is where I have to be careful about what I say. I’m going to be general but bring across an important point. Wendy Walker is writing two stories and settings at the same time. It is evident to anyone that reads thrillers that they will weave together. I don’t believe that is spoiling anything. But the not knowing? Not until long into What Remains? It makes What Remains a wild ride and a gripping read.

Final Thoughts/Audiobook

Usually, I get weary of books that don’t specifically label chapters by point of view (when there are multiple POVs). However, with What Remains, this is a necessary play into the two settings and stories being told simultaneously. It would give away too much for each to be labeled. Part of the mystery is who one of the POVs are and their role in the story.

Lastly, the narrators, Gabra Zackman and Peter Ganim, are excellent at bringing the story off the page. These are new narrators to me, but I will definitely look for them in the future.

I really wish I could say more about Wendy Walker’s latest, but I refuse to give anything else away. This is an absolute must-read.

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