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Saturday, October 21, 2017

#allthebookreviews: Desert Remains by Steven Cooper @seventhstbooks @thestevencooper

Desert Remains
A Gus Parker and Alex Mills Novel
by Steven Cooper
Seventh Street Books


Big thank you to Prometheus / Seventh Street Books for our copies in return for our honest reviews. 

Goodreads Synopsis

Someone is filling the desert caves around Phoenix with bodies--a madman who, in a taunting ritual, is leaving behind a record of his crimes etched into the stone. With no leads and no suspects, Detective Alex Mills sees a case spinning out of control. City leaders want the case solved yesterday, and another detective wants to elbow Mills out of the way. As the body count rises, Mills turns to Gus Parker, an "intuitive medium" whose murky visions sometimes point to real clues. It's an unorthodox approach, but Mills is desperate.

When Parker is brought to the crime scenes, he sees visions of a house on fire and a screaming child. But what does it mean? He struggles to interpret his psychic messages, knowing that the killer is one step ahead and that in this vast desert, the next murder could happen anywhere. Nor does it help that he's always been unlucky in love and now finds himself the prey of a lovelorn stalker. She is throwing him off his game.

Someone will win this contest, and both Parker and Mills fear it will be the cunning, ruthless killer, who is able to use the trackless landscape as a cover for his brutal crimes.

My Thoughts

Bodies are being found in desert caves in the Phoenix area.  Detective Mills is on the case but is getting nowhere.  With the higher ups on his ass to solve this as quickly as possible he brings in Gus Parker, a psychic whose visions have helped in the past.  The visions Gus sees is hard to interpret and frustrations grow in every direction.  As the killer seems to be on to them now, it's a race to see which side wins.

What a surprise of a series debut!  I was curious how this would go with the psychic presence and all.  I'm not sure how much I believe in the psychic phenomenon, but the author does such a great job in keeping Gus and Beatrice (his fellow psychic and mentor of sorts) grounded and lovely to meet.  Beatrice is eccentric but her goal is to out the non-psychics who prey on people for their money.  The way she banters with Gus is so much fun to read.  Gus just tries to live his every day life and help when necessary - even if most people are skeptical.  

The plot line itself is quite interesting and I love how the author ties everything together at the end.  What I found most interesting were the back stories of Mill's family life and Gus's reconciliation with trying to complete his life on certain levels.  These really helped to get to know the characters and I look forward to their future adventures.

This is a series you don't want to miss.  A fresh take on police procedural, forensic analysis with a psychic twist.  I was pleasantly surprised and I think you will be too.


Jessica's Thoughts

Whenever there's a new crime series coming I'm always intrigued. DESERT REMAINS by Steven Cooper is the start of a new unique police procedural that includes a psychic. Definitely has my curiosity. 

In the deserts of Phoenix there are bodies turning up in caves. Detective Alex Mills is put on the case to find the killer. With the city leaders wanting the case solved yesterday, To help him solve the case, that has hit a dead end, he enlists the help of Gus Parker. Parker is a psychic. He brings a different element to the investigation and Mills is hoping that his visions will lead them to the killer. 

This was a great debut! It puts a new spin on the police procedural. You don't usually see a psychic helping solve a murder case. This turned into a bit of a cat and mouse crime thriller as well. They're onto the killer, but the killer is onto them. Who will find the other first? Cooper introduces some memorable characters - Gus, Alex, and then Beatrice. Beatrice is a fellow psychic, and her mission has been to uncover those pretending to be psychics. 

I think that Cooper tied everything together very nicely at the end. We got some glimpses into the back stories of Mills and Parker, which I look forward to learning more in future installments!

Overall, if you're a fan of police procedurals, but you're tired of how overly technical they can get, then this is the one for you! I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more books in this series. 

I give this 4.5/5 stars!

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