Painter and art instructor Rebecca Underhill is not sure who or what is stalking her, but for six months she’s been receiving odd and disconcerting text messages. Initially they simply said her name, but most recently have consisted of a single word: Remember.
She may have been able to dismiss the messages as just a prank, except that she has been remembering. She’s been having nightmares about a horrific event she and her twin sister, Molly, experienced thirty years prior.
The two sisters were abducted for a harrowing afternoon by a man who lived in a remote cabin in the woods surrounding their family’s farm. The girls escaped and, having been playing somewhere they weren’t supposed to be, made a pact not to tell their parents about what had happened.
Any doubt they had about their decision was removed when the man was arrested for another crime shortly after their ordeal and sentenced to thirty years in prison. Thirty years seemed like an eternity to the young girls; surely the monster would die in prison and they’d be safe. And they were, for awhile. But ten years ago Molly passed away from cancer and the girls’ parents died not too long after. Now Rebecca is alone with her nightmares. Or is she?
As with his previous release, the wonderful Moonlight Falls, author Vincent Zandri demonstrates that he’s most comfortable blazing his own trail and writing in areas that aren’t easily categorized. One would be hard pressed exactly how to describe The Remains. It’s part mystery, part thriller, part suspense, and even has a little touch of the supernatural. What there’s no mistake that it is, however, is gripping.
The cast of characters is tight, with Rebecca and one of her fellow artists, autistic savant and childhood friend Franny, taking center stage. Zandri skillfully interweaves the events currently vexing Rebecca with the events from the past that are haunting her, slowly building tension and revealing the depths of her nightmares and torment bit by tantalizing bit as the book unfolds.
Moonlight Falls was the first Zandri book I read, and I enjoyed it immensely. I went into the The Remains hoping for another experience that would be just as engaging, and Zandri did not disappoint. The Remains is an intense page turner that will keep you reading late into the night.