Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Vincent Zandri - The Remains

7. The Remains by Vincent Zandri (2012)
Length: 272 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 10 February 2017
Finished: 15 February 2017
Where did it come from? Many thanks to my next door neighbor for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 4 February 2017
Why do I have it? I like horror and Vincent Zandri is a new author for me.

For years, the Underhill twins had repeatedly been warned to never walk through the woods alone. The rumor was that a serial killer lived there - someone who had reputedly murdered his entire family. While Rebecca Underhill may have taken such warnings to heart, her twin sister Molly had always had a more rebellious nature. Besides, the sisters had always felt safe walking through the woods, and they figured that as long as they were together - they could handle whatever came their way.

That belief was put to the test when the sisters decided to explore the delapidated cabin behind their house. They never expected to ever cross paths with the deranged man who actually lived there, but he unexpectedly came home and caught them inside his house. After a particularly harrowing ordeal, the girls managed to escape - but fearing retribution against their family - they swore to keep the entire incident a secret. In the thirty years since their terrifying ordeal, the girls have done their best to forget what happened to them and to move forward with their lives.

Rebecca is now a painter and a special needs art teacher, but unfortunately, Molly has long since passed away from cancer. Suddenly, Rebecca begins to receive a series of cryptic text messages from her sister. As much as she wants to believe that Molly is trying to communicate with her, Rebecca just can't bring herself to accept something so implausible.

It couldn't be their attacker from so many years ago; he was captured and imprisoned for a similar crime at around that same time. Surely he'd still be incarcerated or dead by now - wouldn't he? Rebecca so wants to believe that 'the boogeyman' can never scare her again, and she doesn't want to believe that she ever gave him such power over her - but the night terrors she still suffers from say otherwise.

When one of Rebecca's art students - an autistic savant named Francis - gives her a series of paintings, she is absolutely astounded by what she sees in each one. She realizes that the scenes in each painting depict something from her nightmares - the nightmares she has had every single night for the past thirty years. Rebecca is certain that Franny has absolutely no knowledge of her horrific ordeal, but she is also stunned and confused by the accuracy of each of his paintings. It's almost as though Franny is somehow forcing Rebecca to relive the most horrifying moment of her life.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. In my opinion, the story was intriguingly original and I enjoyed the subtly mysterious elements of prescience that the author utilized all the way through it. I also appreciated the way the author wove memories of the past throughout the present-day story and knitted both stories together. I would certainly say that Mr. Zandri captured the true essence of his female characters and wrote a poignant story with an extraordinary amount of sensitivity - a definite A+!

Actually, The Remains by Vincent Zandri is one of five books that my next door neighbor sent me, all by the same author. I'm not absolutely certain, but I think that the author may be my next door neighbor. Wouldn't that be something?

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

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