Review: “The Remembrance,” T.C. Parker

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

T.C. Parker’s thriller The Remembrance: El Gardener Book 3 is a great follow-on to books one and two. We’ve returned to our group of lady con artists in 1998. Karen is married now, El and Rose have finally been dating, and the most difficult thing El has to do right now is con some very gullible people into parting with a painting she wants to give to Rose for her birthday. Until all of their money goes away. Poof. Empty bank accounts–even all the secret ones. Cards declined. At least Rose still has some assets, but suddenly everyone’s on very thin ice. Meanwhile, in flashbacks taking place in 1941, we meet Dolly. Her parents are killed in a bombing, and she and her sister are sent to live with an uncle. When her curiosity results in her tracking and confronting an assassin, she becomes his protege–after all, she seems to be entirely lacking in empathy. Back in 1998, the ladies’ arch-enemy, Hannah D’Amboise, shows up again, ostensibly to warn them that a professional assassin is out to kill all of them and their families. But this is Hannah we’re talking about, so there are complications she hasn’t mentioned!

The one negative I had with this volume is that some of the twists and turns and schemes seemed to rely on one or two events that were not very predictable, in my opinion. But on the other hand, as con artists, these ladies are much better at judging character and potential actions and reactions than your average person, so I think I can mostly suspend disbelief for that part.

Dolly, also known as Thea, makes a rather fascinating assassin, particularly once she picks up a protege of her own. She’s absolutely sociopathic, and she’s picked out a few repeat team members who make things interesting: a contortionist, Lucian (her protege and muscle), and a hacker. We only see these characters in small amounts, but despite that they have plenty of depth to them.

With rare exception, the ladies shun violence, believing if things come down to fists, knives, or guns, then they’ve already lost control of the situation. But they may not be able to choose to stay non-violent. Consequences from book one still haunt them, and Hannah is as two-faced as ever. I love the twists and turns the plot takes, even on those occasions where it confuses me for a time. The characters make this series absolutely fabulous.

Content note: a few deaths, gory but not lingered on.

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