Book Review: Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes

Book Review on Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes
 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 is on her own. But Annabel is shocked when she discovers her neighbours 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.


I accidentally stumbled upon Elizabeth Haynes’ writing a few months ago and I have been gripped since I read her first debut book Into The Darkest Corner. I finally got my hands on her other two books (well actually I bought them for my mum’s birthday but I seem to have stolen them from her before she has read them…) and I quite literally haven’t put them down yet. I stormed through the first book to arrive (which just so happened to be the last one she has written) which was creepily named Human Remains and rightly so.

I didn’t fall in love with this book quite as much as I did with Into The Darkest Corner however I always knew that it would be hard to beat it. However Human Remains did have me gripped from the very first page (which I always find extremely impressive) and even though whilst reading it I squirmed, had a knot in my stomach, a lump in my throat and even had to put it down, watch a comedy or Disney film and then return to it, I’m so glad that I kept going until the end. I did feel that some of the narratives (extras to the two main characters of Annabel and Colin) were a bit unnecessary, but at the same time they probably did help to build up a feeling of empathy towards the victims so maybe it did fulfil its purpose after-all.

This novel tackles the issue of loneliness in the most mundane lifestyle, something that we all no doubt experience at some point in our lives and then the author transforms what would usefully be a boring subject and makes it exciting and chilling to read about. It will have you on the edge of your seat and all of a sudden you will be very aware of what your neighbours are up to (and if they are alive!) and again, as with Into The Darkest Corner I definitely would not recommend this book to anyone who is remotely faint hearted, it was a difficult read but 100% worthwhile picking up!

Previously I never would have classed myself as being a ‘crime reader’ Elizabeth Haynes seems to be slowly turning me into one!

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