Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Book "The Remains" by Vincent Zandri

About the Book: Thirty years ago, teenager Rebecca Underhill and her twin sister Molly were abducted by a man who lived in a house in the woods behind their upstate New York farm. They were held inside that house for three horrifying hours, until making their daring escape.
Vowing to keep their terrifying experience a secret in order to protect their mother and father, the girls tried to put the past behind them. And when their attacker was hunted down by police and sent to prison, they believed he was as good as dead.
Now, it’s 30 years later, and with Molly having passed away from cancer, Rebecca, a painter and art teacher, is left alone to bear the burden of a secret that has only gotten heavier and more painful with each passing year.
But when Rebecca begins receiving some strange anonymous text messages, she begins to realize that the monster who attacked her all those years ago is not dead after all. He’s back, and this time, he wants to do more than just haunt her. He wants her dead

About the Author: Vincent Zandri is an award-winning novelist, essayist and freelance photojournalist. His novel As Catch Can (Delacorte) was touted in two pre-publication articles by Publishers Weekly and was called “Brilliant” upon its publication by The New York Post. The Boston Herald attributed it as “The most arresting first crime novel to break into print this season.” Other novels include the bestselling, Moonlight Falls,Godchild (Bantam/Dell) and Permanence (NPI). Translated into several languages including Japanese and the Dutch, Zandri’s novels have also been sought out by numerous major movie producers, including Heyday Productions and DreamWorks. Presently he is the author of the blogs, Dangerous Dispatches and Embedded in Africa for Russia Today TV (RT). He also writes for other global publications, including Culture 11, Globalia and Globalspec. Zandri’s nonfiction has appeared in New York Newsday, Hudson Valley Magazine, Game and Fish Magazine and others, while his essays and short fiction have been featured in many journals including Fugue, Maryland Review and Orange Coast Magazine. He holds an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College and is a 2010 International Thriller Writer’s Awards panel judge. Zandri currently divides his time between New York and Europe. He is the drummer for the Albany-based punk band to Blisterz.
His latest book is the bestselling thriller novel, The Remains.
You can visit his website at or his blog at

Read the Excerpt!

October 2, 2008

Albany, New York
In the deep night, a woman sits down at her writing table. Fingering a newly sharpened pencil, she focuses her eyes upon the blank paper, brings the black pencil tip to it.

She begins to write.
Dear Mol,

I’ve been dreaming about you again. I don’t think a night has gone by in the past few weeks when I haven’t seen your face. Our face, I should say. The face is always in my head; implanted in my memories. The dream is nothing new. It’s thirty years ago again. It’s October. I’m walking close behind you through the tall grass towards the woods. Your hair is loose and long. You’re wearing cut-offs, white Keds with the laces untied and a red T-shirt that says ‘Paul McCartney and Wings’ on the front. You’re walking ahead of me while I try to keep up; but afraid to keep up. Soon we come to the tree line, and while my heart beats in my throat, we walk into the trees. But then comes a noise—a snapping of twigs and branches. The gaunt face of a man appears. A man who lives in a house in the woods.

Then, just like that, the dream shifts and I see you kneeling beside me inside the dark empty basement. I hear the sound of your sniffles, smell the wormy raw earth, feel the cold touch of a man’s hand. You turn and you look at me with your solid steel eyes. And then I wake up.

We survived the house in the woods together, Mol, and we never told a soul. We just couldn’t risk it. Whelan would have come back for us. He would have found us. He would have found mom and dad. Even today, I know he surely would have. He would have killed them, Mol. He would have killed us. In just five days, thirty years will have passed. Three entire decades and I’m still convinced we did the right thing by keeping that afternoon in the woods our secret.

When I see you in my dreams it’s like looking in a mirror. The blue eyes, the thick lips, the dirty blond hair forever just touching the shoulders. My hair is finally showing signs of grey, Mol.

I wonder, do you get gray hair in heaven? I wonder if Whelan’s hair burned off in hell? I wonder if he suffers?

All my love,

Your twin sister,

Rebecca Rose Underhill
Exhaling, the woman folds the letter neatly into thirds, slips it into a blank stationary envelope, her initials RRU embossed on the label. Running the bitter sticky glue interior over her tongue, she seals the envelope, sets it back down onto the writing table. Once more she picks up the pencil, brings the now dulled tip to the envelope’s face. Addressing it she writes only a name:

Molly Rose Underhill
The job done, the woman smiles sadly. Opening the table drawer, she sets the letter inside, on top of a stack of nine identical letters-never-sent. One for every year her sister has been gone.

Closing the drawer she hears her cell phone begin to vibrate, then softly chime. Picking it up off the desktop, she opens the phone, sees that a new text has been forwarded to her electronic mailbox. Fingering the in-box, she retrieves the message.

Rebecca is all it says.

Punching the command that reveals the name and number of the sender she finds “Caller Unknown.” The sender’s number has been blocked. Closing the phone back up, she sets it down on the desk. That’s when the wind picks up, blows and whistles through the open window.

“Mol,” she says, staring out into the darkness. “Mol, is that you?”

My Review: It has been a while since last time I read such a good suspense book. My wife even said that this must be a excellent book to keep me reading till late in the night for three consecutive nights!

The plot is captivating: Two twin sisters were abducted in the woods behind their farm when they were twelve years old, and they decided not to tell anyone about that, to protect their parents. The abductor was caught in a different scenario of abduction and rape of another woman six months later and condemned to thirty years in prison. The twins assumed that he would die in prison. Almost thirty years later the story is resumed and we learned that one of the twins (Molly) died of cancer ten years before, the parents also passed away and the other twin (Rebecca) started having nightmares related to what happened in the past.  And things develops from there, with  Rebecca receiving mysterious text messages in her cell phone,  and an autist artist, friend of Rebecca try to send her signs in his paintings.

This was the first book I read from this author, but I am looking forward on reading all the books he published so far. His style is very entertaining and we get so attached to the characters on the novel that we feel their pain and agony. Few books made me look behind my shoulder after I was done reading them. This is one of those. The short chapters are nice if you have to interrupt your reading for some reason. Also, it is an excellent scene breaker if this book ever makes into a Hollywood movie.

This book was written by Vincent Zandri and it was published in 2010 by StoneHouse, Ink. and Pump Up Your Book was kind enough to provide me a copy for reviewing through their Virtual Book Tour Program. Thanks, Mr. Vincent Zandri!

If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment!

The Remains Virtual Book Tour Schedule

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haunted house

Monday, November 1

Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking
Tuesday, November 2

Guest blogging at Martha’s Bookshelf

Interviewed at Let’s Talk Virtual Book Tours
Wednesday, November 3

Book trailer spotlighted at Pump Up Your Book
Thursday, November 4

Guest blogging at The Book Faery Reviews
Friday, November 5

Interviewed at Examiner
Monday, November 8

Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking
Wednesday, November 10

Book reviewed at Ashley’s Bookshelf
Thursday, November 11

Guest blogging at Donna’s Blog Home
Friday, November 12

Book reviewed at Colloquium
Monday, November 15

Guest blogging at Books R Us
Tuesday, November 16

Book reviewed at Books R Us
Wednesday, November 17

Book reviewed at Reading at the Beach
Thursday, November 18

Guest blogging at Reading, Reading and Life
Monday, November 22

Book reviewed at WV Stitcher
Tuesday, November 23

Book reviewed at A Bookish Mom
Wednesday, November 24

Book reviewed at Book and Movies Reviews
Thursday, November 25

Friday, November 26

Book reviewed at Lucky Rosie’s

Book reviewed at Cuzinlogic
Monday, December 6

Book reviewed at Rundpinne

Book reviewed at Knowlton Nest
Tuesday, December 7

Book reviewed at Just One More Paragraph

Book reviewed at Ohio Girl Talks
Wednesday, December 8

Book reviewed at In the Next Room

Book reviewed at DK’s Everything Books
Thursday, December 9

Book reviewed at Book Sanctuary

Book reviewed at From the TBR Pile
Friday, December 10

Book reviewed at Musings of an All-Purpose Monkey

Book reviewed at Life in Review

Book reviewed at Ashley’s Bookshelf
Monday, December 13

Book reviewed at Reading, Reading and Life
Tuesday, December 14

Guest blogging at Night Owl Reviews

Book reviewed at Psychotic State Book Reviews
Wednesday, December 15

Book reviewed at The Book Faery Reviews

Book reviewed at Donna’s Blog Home
Thursday, December 16

Book reviewed & interviewed at As I Turn the Pages

Book reviewed at Proud Book Nerd

Book reviewed at Colloquium
Friday, December 17

Book reviewed by Book Reviews by Molly
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1 comment:

  1. Oh, I do love a good suspense thriller! I read the excerpt and it was tantilizing :-D Thanks for the review.