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Human Remains Kindle Edition
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I loved the highly praised debut by Ms Haynes, Into the Darkest Corner but was rather disappointed by her second novel, Revenge of the Tide. This latest represents a solid return to form. It is told in alternating first person narrative, which can be a very tricky style to work with (for evidence see several young adult novels which shall remain unmentioned here). However, Annabel and Colin are beautifully expressed as characters through their distinctive voices. Both "sound" just that little bit odd, which is perfectly right for their characters, but the beauty of the character development is through their different expressions of oddity. The vignettes by the murder victims help to flesh out some of the back story and give clues as to just how odd Colin actually is.
I don't give five stars to a book lightly, but this is definitely a more than four star effort and I thoroughly enjoyed the unfolding drama, even as I began to guess where the action was headed. This story has a strong action set piece in the third act and I think it would translate very well onto the screen. A two part prime time mini series perhaps? In the meantime, don't hesitate to buy the book and be entertained by an absorbing story.
I mentioned the use of 'alright' in my review of Revenge of the Tide. I was unhappy with it in that book and am similarly unhappy with it in this one. 'Alright' as one word is not acceptable, normal spelling. It should be 'All right'. As I said in the review of Revenge of the Tide, if it was used once or twice I probably would not have noticed, but the author uses this expression over and over again. In the end it became an annoying interruption to the story as far as I was concerned.
Overall, with the reservations mentioned, I would recommend the book as a reasonable read.
I appear to be in a minority but I loathed this book. The characters are mostly one-dimensional and therefore it is difficult to empathise with them. The writing I found turgid and,of course, this book is far too long; in fact it is 200 pages too long. I feel for the reader who had to abandon the book as I was tempted to do so myself and to the best of my recollection I have failed to finish reading a book only once before. I breathed a sigh of relief when I came to the last page. In fact, I only persevered this time because I had promised to pass it on to a friend who liked Haynes' first novel, Into the Darkest Corner - a book I quite enjoyed even if the plot was far from original.
This book is repetitious, tedious and not well-written and, while I respect the views of other readers, I am at a loss to understand the fulsome praise heaped on Ms. Haynes' third novel. I would certainly never buy another book by this author. I could not recommend this book but obviously many other readers would!
At the moment I am reading Paul Torday's latest novel and enjoying it immensely as it is beautifully written and his characters are so finely drawn. It also helps that the plot is unusual and gripping. I do not know how this book will end but I am thoroughly enjoying the journey and for me that is usually enough. Conversely, reading Human Remains was akin to being stuck for weeks in the most appalling traffic jam.
Finally, and this is a personal bugbear but "alright" appears countless times throughout the novel both in conversation and in the general narrative. Does the author not realise that she should use "all right" in ALL circumstances and that "alright" is NEVER correct. Yet, I would not have mentioned this were it not for how frequently the offending word is used - quite often appearing three times on the same page.
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Most recent customer reviews
A good read however not a relaxing or mindful story
If you like weird then this is...Read more