Desert Remains

Desert Remains

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...

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Title:Desert Remains
Author:Steven Cooper
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Desert Remains Reviews

  • Mommacat

    Are you ready for a different type of police procedural? One that doesn't use someone else's outline to tell the story? Prepare yourself for Steven Cooper's very first book, DESERT REMAINS.

    What we have here is a story about a psychic and a detective. That would be the Gus and Alex mentioned in the title. What's different? They work together without sneering at Gus's psychic abilities. Holy X-Files, Batman! Really? The police listen to the psychic? Yes, they do. And that's just the beginning...

    Au

    Are you ready for a different type of police procedural? One that doesn't use someone else's outline to tell the story? Prepare yourself for Steven Cooper's very first book, DESERT REMAINS.

    What we have here is a story about a psychic and a detective. That would be the Gus and Alex mentioned in the title. What's different? They work together without sneering at Gus's psychic abilities. Holy X-Files, Batman! Really? The police listen to the psychic? Yes, they do. And that's just the beginning...

    Author Steven Cooper created people not just characters to play out in this novel. They are well built, different and interesting. Kudos to you Steven for creating people that might actually live in the real world.

    This is quite a long book, for those of you who like to settle in and get invested in your story, this is for you. You will have have plots and subplots, clues and plenty to keep your mind occupied.

    I had a tough time rating this book. How could I give a first book 5 stars? So I gave it 4.5 stars and rounded up to 5.

    Prometheus Books offered to let me read this. They are an imprint of Penguin Putnam. Go check it out wherever you buy books. I think you'll like it.

  • Steve

    Desert Remains is a book that kept me turning the pages. That is high praise which is richly deserved. The author develops the characters well and the story is constantly moving ahead. Gus Cooper is a psychic/surfer/hippie who has insight into crimes happening in and around Phoenix, Arizona.

    Deceased women have been found in and around the cliffs surrounding the Phoenix area. The killings have been depicted on the walls of the cliffs. Alex Mills, a local cop, and Timothy Chase, a former F.B.I. a

    Desert Remains is a book that kept me turning the pages. That is high praise which is richly deserved. The author develops the characters well and the story is constantly moving ahead. Gus Cooper is a psychic/surfer/hippie who has insight into crimes happening in and around Phoenix, Arizona.

    Deceased women have been found in and around the cliffs surrounding the Phoenix area. The killings have been depicted on the walls of the cliffs. Alex Mills, a local cop, and Timothy Chase, a former F.B.I. agent are investigating the killings. Mills decides to bring in Gus Cooper, the psychic because progress is not being made. What happens makes for an entertaining and involving mystery. The writer tells an intriguing story that keeps the reader wanting to know more. I heartily recommend Desert Remains to all who enjoy a well-told mystery.

  • Jessica

    Thanks to Prometheus Books for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

    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 h

    Thanks to Prometheus Books for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

    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!

  • Viva

    If there was such a thing as a psychic crime solving procedural, this would be it. And I'll be the first to admit, I hated this book at first. I didn't like it because the book went into the family lives of both the psychic (Gus Parker) and the detective (Alex Mills) and I didn't want to read about them - I wanted to read about the crime. So I almost dnf'ed the book but I'm glad I carried on.

    I was also a bit leery about the premise. I mean after all, if you have a psychic, why would you even nee

    If there was such a thing as a psychic crime solving procedural, this would be it. And I'll be the first to admit, I hated this book at first. I didn't like it because the book went into the family lives of both the psychic (Gus Parker) and the detective (Alex Mills) and I didn't want to read about them - I wanted to read about the crime. So I almost dnf'ed the book but I'm glad I carried on.

    I was also a bit leery about the premise. I mean after all, if you have a psychic, why would you even need police work, just have the psychic solve the crime. It would be the easiest way for the author to plot out the story, a big cop out in fact.

    However as I read on, I began to like the characters. The side plots of their lives which started out as distracting and annoying, became interesting. The murders became a side plot as I followed Gus and Alex's private lives. It's an interesting way to write a book and I don't know how many other readers would come for the murders but stay for family drama.

    As it turns out, the author has given Gus Parker the ability to only see enough to advance the story. Legwork still has to be done. In this book at least, it seems that Gus does most of the investigating and Alex provides the authority for arrests and the official investigation.

    All in all, I liked all the characters in the book, even the supporting ones and they provide the frame for the story to rest on. I also liked the setting of Arizona, the caves and the petroglyphs. The criminal part of the story was also quite well plotted out. In the end, I didn't give this book 5 stars because I felt there was too much going on in the book at one time. But I'm definitely going to follow this author and check out the other books in this series.

    I got this book as a free ARC.

  • Cindelu

    I won this book on Goodreads. I really enjoyed it. It was fast moving, easily read and I especially liked the characters of Gus Parker and Beatrice. I kind of guessed "who done it" about halfway through the book but it was a twister of a plot none the less. I would like to read more of these characters.

  • LJ

    First Sentence: Her name is Elizabeth Spears

    The caves in the mountains around Phoenix are known for their petroglyphs, but these are different. A kill has been carving pictures of his actual murders in each of the caves where the body of a woman is found. Because the city powers want the case solved immediately, even though there are no clues, Detective Alex Mills calls on the talents of Gus Parker, a psychic he has worked with in the past. Yet even the images Gus sees don’t seem to relate to th

    First Sentence: Her name is Elizabeth Spears

    The caves in the mountains around Phoenix are known for their petroglyphs, but these are different. A kill has been carving pictures of his actual murders in each of the caves where the body of a woman is found. Because the city powers want the case solved immediately, even though there are no clues, Detective Alex Mills calls on the talents of Gus Parker, a psychic he has worked with in the past. Yet even the images Gus sees don’t seem to relate to these murders. Or do they?

    What an interesting beginning with the gruesomeness of the murder scene, and the bluntness of those at the crime scene contrasted against the beauty of a desert sunset. In the midst of that is an introduction to Det. Alex Mills, which may actually make one smile. We then meet Gus Parker, a somewhat reluctant medical image technician, and his friend and fellow psychic Beatrice Vossenheimer as the two seek to unmask a fake psychic. The information involved in their so doing is quite interesting and makes perfect sense. Cooper establishes credibility for Gus by establishing that he has worked with other law enforcements in the past. While it is true that they are known to use psychics on occasion, it would have been interesting to learn about the research Cooper undertook about psychics and their role in this milieu. Unfortunately, that information isn’t provided, even in the author notes.

    It is nice to have a protagonist who is married, loves his wife and is faithful, but it is also realistic in that Mills’ home life isn’t idealized. The situation introduces another plot thread which may seem awkward, and not really necessary. It is also nice that Mills is a by-the-book cop who not only doesn’t work around the law but doesn’t even bend it. Gus, too, has issues in his personal life that need addressing. These aren’t characters who have been prettied up for public consumption. These are characters who are realistic, including a Sheriff Joe Arpaio-like character.

    Cooper throws in some excellent plot twists. What’s even more impressive is that he truly takes us along with Gus, with the help of Beatrice, on his search for the suspect. It’s not a pound-the-pavement search, but one utilizing his research and impressions. We become as invested as does Gus in truly to work things out.

    Once the climax is reached, one realized breadcrumbs have been laid throughout the plot, had we really been paying attention. Happily, the story is interesting enough that most of us won’t have been. There are some weaknesses to the writing that may niggle at the back of one’s consciousness, but they are rather like floaters in one’s eye; they’re a bit distracting but don’t destroy the overall enjoyment of the story.

    “Desert Remains” is Coopers’ first mystery and it does have some weaknesses. However, it will be very interesting watching the series develop.

    DESERT REMAINS (Pol Proc-Gus Parker/Alex Mills-Phoenix-Contemp) – G+

    Cooper, Steven – 1st in series

    Seventh Street Books – Oct 2017)

  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)

    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 p

    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.

    Thank you so much to Seventh Street Books for this copy in return for my honest review!

  • Tricia

    I really enjoyed this suspenseful mystery. I really liked the characters of Gus Parker and Alex Mills.

    They are a fun duo to read about. They compliment each other and make the policing aspect of the book

    extra interesting and unique. Alex Mills is a homicide detective and Gus Parker is a psychic. The plotline in Desert Remains has a madman killing women on desert trails and Alex Mills has no evidence to follow. Gus Parker has visions that can help lead Mills to uncover who is behind these gruesom

    I really enjoyed this suspenseful mystery. I really liked the characters of Gus Parker and Alex Mills.

    They are a fun duo to read about. They compliment each other and make the policing aspect of the book

    extra interesting and unique. Alex Mills is a homicide detective and Gus Parker is a psychic. The plotline in Desert Remains has a madman killing women on desert trails and Alex Mills has no evidence to follow. Gus Parker has visions that can help lead Mills to uncover who is behind these gruesome murders. Gus' psychic abilities aren't over the top and how he "operates" seems practical and makes sense. Mills is a good cop and doesn't just depend on Gus but is quite capable as a detective. Together though Mills and Parker bring a different but intriguing aspect to this mystery/thriller.

    Overall. I really liked this read and I can't wait for another Mills and Parker book!

  • Wendy Greene

    This is a terrific read if you're looking for something extremely light that requires almost no thought. Honestly, I barreled through it and really enjoyed it. It's well paced, keeps you turning the pages and won't let you down. However, there is almost no character development and Cooper relies on some hackneyed stereotypes that really angered me: the hysterical woman and the fat, stupid cop. The cop character, in particular, really got my goat: stuffing Twinkies in his mouth, lumbering along,

    This is a terrific read if you're looking for something extremely light that requires almost no thought. Honestly, I barreled through it and really enjoyed it. It's well paced, keeps you turning the pages and won't let you down. However, there is almost no character development and Cooper relies on some hackneyed stereotypes that really angered me: the hysterical woman and the fat, stupid cop. The cop character, in particular, really got my goat: stuffing Twinkies in his mouth, lumbering along, dumb as a bag of rocks. This was sizeism at its finest. Cooper would do well to rethink such stereotypical drivel. Oh, and one last thing. Like a shocking number of Americans, neither Cooper nor his editor know how to conjugate the verb "to lie." If I read one more "why don't you lay down for a rest?" I'll kill someone myself!

  • RMazin

    Gus Parker and Alex Mills form a unique crime-solving partnership. Gus is a sonographer and a psychic able to suss out criminal elements. Alex is a Phoenix police detective who believes in procedure and clues. Yet they have a mutual respect for each other’s abilities and even like each other. But sometimes, they do not “speak the same language” e.g. Instinct vs. Evidence; Impressions vs. Observations. Alex is a grounded family man, who values his time with them (problems and all). Gus is a free-

    Gus Parker and Alex Mills form a unique crime-solving partnership. Gus is a sonographer and a psychic able to suss out criminal elements. Alex is a Phoenix police detective who believes in procedure and clues. Yet they have a mutual respect for each other’s abilities and even like each other. But sometimes, they do not “speak the same language” e.g. Instinct vs. Evidence; Impressions vs. Observations. Alex is a grounded family man, who values his time with them (problems and all). Gus is a free-floating spirit with quirky friends, a Lab called Ivy and a family that could not understand his “gift”. Gus and Alex use their combined abilities to try to find out who is the serial murderer brutally killing women at Phoenix trailheads and parks. Gus has visions that indicate what clues may be discovered, while Alex has the authority and means to pursue them. The murderer leaves ritualistic drawings at each site that haunt Gus and Alex as they try to discover the perpetrator before the next death occurs. Secondary characters are amusing though stereotypical. The star of this series (I hope) is the relationship between the two men, and the city of Phoenix. Recommended for those seeking a fast-read with a twist of psychic

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