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Human Remains [Library Binding]

Elizabeth Haynes
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (287 customer reviews)
Price: 16.73 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

20 Aug 2013
How well do you know your neighbours? Would you notice if they lived or died? Police analyst Annabel wouldn't describe herself as lonely. Her work keeps her busy and the needs of her ageing mother and her cat are more than enough to fill her time when she's on her own. But Annabel is shocked when she discovers her neighbour's decomposing body in the house next door, and appalled to think that no one, including herself, noticed her absence. Back at work she sets out to investigate, despite her police officer colleagues' lack of interest, and finds data showing that such cases are frighteningly common in her own home town. A chilling thriller and a hymn to all the lonely people, whose individual voices haunt the pages, Elizabeth Haynes' new novel is a deeply disturbing and powerful thriller that preys on our darkest fears, showing how vulnerable we are when we live alone, and how easily ordinary lives can fall apart when no one is watching.

Product details

  • Library Binding: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Turtleback Books; Reprint edition (20 Aug 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0606321799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0606321792
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (287 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,778,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elizabeth Haynes worked for many years as a police analyst. Her debut novel, Into the Darkest Corner, won Amazon's Book of the Year in 2011 and Amazon's Rising Star Award for debut novels.

Elizabeth grew up in Sussex and studied English, German and Art History at Leicester University. She is currently taking a career break having worked for the past seven years as a police intelligence analyst. Elizabeth now lives in Kent with her husband and son, and writes in coffee shops and a shed-office which takes up most of the garden. She is a regular participant in, and a Municipal Liaison for, National Novel Writing Month - an annual challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November.

Product Description


'It's hard to put the uniqueness of Elizabeth Haynes' writing into words. Her stories grip you by the throat and force you to acknowledge that this is what real crime and real horror look and feel like, as well as real love, hope, fear. Suddenly, much of the other crime fiction you've read seems, in comparison, rather like stories made up by writers. Haynes is the most exciting thing to happen to crime fiction in a long time.' --- Sophie Hannah --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Elizabeth Haynes is a police intelligence analyst. She started writing fiction in 2006 thanks to the annual challenge of National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) and the encouragement of the creative writing courses at West Dean College. She lives in a village near Maidstone, Kent, with her husband and son. Her first novel, Into the Darkest Corner, was the winner of Amazon's Rising Stars and has been translated into 30 languages. Her second novel, Revenge of the Tide, was published in March 2012.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By K. J. Noyes TOP 500 REVIEWER
Loved it! Another winner from Haynes.

Annabel works as an analyst for the police. She lives with her cat, has no friends and cares for her housebound mother. One night she finds her neighbour's dead body, sat at home, apparently starved to death. Soon after, she notices a pattern of vastly increasing similar suicides in the town, all of lonely and vulnerable people. But this story isn't just about Annabel, it's also about Colin...

I'm trying very hard not to give away vital twists and plot points. I really enjoy Haynes' style, it's crime but not really about the murders. She writes about the victims, the killers, the psychology of it, which to me is much more interesting than a straightforward thriller. We are never in any doubt who the bad guy is, in fact, a proportion of the narrative is his, talking us through his life and what he does. Other reviewers have called him creepy. I loved him! Not that I want to go on a date with him, but I found him a rounded and convincing portrayal of a very intelligent and dangerous psychopath.

The story is rather sad - these vulnerable people are not murdered, in fact the dead narrate their own stories - that people with little support can easily be manipulated and there is no-one to look out for them. It's quite a scary thought.

I loved the structure of this, short chapters narrated by Annabel, the 'killer', the victims.

*SPOILER* I thought it especially clever when Annabel's narrations became those of a victim, this was such a shock (though I could see it coming and got very tense!!), as she'd been so stable and assured until that point.

This isn't quite going to hit the heights of Into the Darkest Corner for me.
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
This is the third novel from crime writer Elizabeth Haynes and for me this is her darkest yet. Annabel works as an analyst for the police. She is lonely, with just her cat Lucy for company at home, and a few visits a week to her housebound mum to separate her days. She works hard, and doesn't have any other close relationships, seeing the friendships amongst others at work go on around her without being part of them, feeling rather disconnected.

Having made a grim discovery in the house next door to hers one day, she realises on her return to work that similar deaths are happening in an alarmingly high number in the locality, and takes this information to her bosses at the police station. Why are so many people dying alone at home, not being discovered for some time after their deaths? Though seeming unsuspicious and raising little interest at first- these are deaths after all, not murders, aren't they? - not least a local journalist, Sam Everett.

Through other lonely, troubled voices that are heard briefly in the story, and primarily through Annabel, this novel examines loneliness and the vulnerability of it, whether society should do more for those living alone, making us question our duty to others, and it makes you wonder about both choosing to be alone and ending up that way. As the neighbour of someone who has been found dead and alone comments `I think it's terrible that in this day and age nobody notices you're gone...People should take more care of each other.' This is not to say that the novel offers no hope in this regard; in fact there are people who demonstrate the very opposite and offer kindness and friendship just when it is most needed.

Haynes has created a cold, chilling character for the criminal in this novel.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling, exciting, magnificently dark 18 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Like everyone else it seems, I discovered Elizabeth Haynes' writing through her magnificent debut, Into the Darkest Corner. Her second, Revenge of the Tide, was good too, but maybe lacking a little something for me. But as for this one - it really is absolutely fantastic, arguably her best yet, and I've honestly never read anything quite like it.

The whole book is incredibly original, and all the more engaging because of its grounding in mundane everyday life. As a central character, we have Annabel, a police analyst who lives alone with her cat Lucy, dissatisfied in life and work, running round after her ungrateful elderly mother. First, she discovers the death of a neighbour - alone and inexplicable. Then, through her work, she discovers that there has been a significant increase in the number of people dying alone at home within her small town. She struggles to get anyone interested - surely the increase has to be significant in some way - until local journalist Sam Everett picks up on the story.

The individual behind the deaths is a magnificent creation who makes your blood run cold: and there's a constant underlying humour and incongruity that makes him all the more chilling. The story is told through Annabel and the man behind it all, but interspersed with the voices of those who have died - and the whole structure works really well. Some of the stories are really touching, wonderful vignettes of the lives of the lonely. And she really gets under the skin and into the minds of her two main characters - in different ways, it's an uncomfortable and fascinating place to be.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first book
This is the third book I've read by this author. Although enjoyable, the ending was weak and reduces the enjoyment of the book. The storyline is fine. Read more
Published 14 hours ago by NoodleDoodle
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing and Addictive
If you read Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes in public, be ready to expose all of your best grimaces to the unsuspecting public. Read more
Published 7 days ago by L. Lonergan
4.0 out of 5 stars Well thought out, accurate read
This is the first book I've found time to read since having a baby 5 months ago, and I have managed to read it in under 2 weeks! Read more
Published 9 days ago by Amelia, Sevenoaks
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
well good read
Published 10 days ago by jangrandmajan
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic read
I have now read all 3 books written by this author, and I wasn't disappointed with this latest one, gripping enough to keep you reading til the small hours
Published 12 days ago by chuke
5.0 out of 5 stars Human Remains
A very poignant book. loved the aspect of writing from different points of view and also the discussion around loneliness.
Published 21 days ago by IRENE
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This has got to be the strangest most intriguing book I have ever read. Weird wonderful, what else can I say? Give it a go...hope you love it too
Published 26 days ago by dragon
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth giving it a go.
I read ' into the darkest corner' and loved it, so I thought I would give this one a go. I wasn't disappointed, Elizabeth Haynes has a way of writing that grips the reader into... Read more
Published 27 days ago by sara jordan
5.0 out of 5 stars Human Remains
I loved this book - it was one of those that I couldn't wait to get back too too continue the tale.
Published 1 month ago by D. Maris
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good psychological thriller
Police Analyst Annabel is shocked to discover a decomposing body in the house next door to her own. She can't really remember the last time she saw her neighbour and had vaguely... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Queen of Denmark
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