Friday, September 6, 2013

Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes

Author: Elizabeth Haynes
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Date of publication:  August 2013

Annabel, a police analyst, is shocked when she discovers her neighbor’s decomposing body in the house next door. And she’s appalled to think that no one noticed her absence.

Back at work, she sets out on her own to investigate, and finds that such cases are frighteningly common in her hometown.

Human Remains was a very engaging book.  Despite it's length,  I was able to read it very quickly.  After Annabel discovers her neighbor's remains, she starts to look into other undiscovered deaths in her town.  She finds that in the past year the number of people who have seemed to died alone has increased significantly.  She tries to convince her colleagues at the police station, but no one takes it too seriously.  The irony in all of this is that Annabel is a lot like her neighbor.  She has no friends and no real family.  Would anyone notice that she was missing?  The story unfolds slowly through the alternating view point of Colin and Annabel.  

I think the most disturbing parts of the book were the "letters" or explanations from the people who die alone.  Their lives were so sad.  These parts really said a lot about our society.  Who really knows their neighbors anymore?  How many people out there die alone only to be discovered months or years later? The reality of the story is overwhelming.   This is one book that I think will stay with me for a while. It's creepy, disturbing and definitely a book I recommend!

About the author:

Elizabeth Haynes is a police intelligence analyst, a civilian role that involves determining patterns in offending and criminal behavior. She is also the New York Times bestselling author of Into the Darkest Corner and Dark Tide. She lives in England in a village near Maidstone, Kent, with her husband and son.
Visit her at, connect with her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.


Anonymous said...

I have to admit that I don't really know most of my neighbors ... what a sad, creepy thought ...

Thanks for being on the tour.

trish said...

What an interesting concept to give a POV to one of the dead victims. Takes the disturbing level up a notch!