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Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes
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Human Remains (edition 2013)

by Elizabeth Haynes

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97None123,577 (3.5)8
Member:tina1969
Title:Human Remains
Authors:Elizabeth Haynes
Info:Myriad Editions (2013), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****1/2
Tags:None

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Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes

Recently added byTeresa40, murraymint11, private library, beearedee, Holly_85, BethanyG, aveys, getsoutmore, murhe
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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this book, and especially enjoyed the quirky nature of Colin's character.

I was however a little disappointed with the ending, and found it quite flat.

It is one of those books that while I found enjoyable, it will be instantly forgotten.I will however read further books from this author as they offer a great source of light relief. ( )
  Holly_85 | Mar 16, 2014 |
Police analyst Annabel wouldn't describe herself as lonely. Her work and the needs of her aging mother keep her busy. But Annabel is shocked when she discovers her neighbor's decomposing body in the house next door, and she is appalled to think that no one, including herself, noticed the woman's absence. Annabel sets out to investigate, despite her colleagues; lack of interest, and discovers that such cases are frighteningly common in her hometown. - Summary BPL

Incisive and creepy as only British fiction can be. Well-written, but disturbing.

6.5 out of 10 ( )
  julie10reads | Feb 2, 2014 |
I didn't enjoy this book. Maybe because the two main characters are so unlikeable. Annabel -fat, grumpy, miserable, no sense of humour, no personality. Colin -psycho, unsociable, pompous, weird, no personality. The story dragged on. The tone was bleak and grey. I finished it and thought Meh! ( )
  Yogiboo | Oct 23, 2013 |
I discovered Elizabeth Haynes last year when I devoured her debut thriller Into the Darkest Corner. Her latest book, Human Remains, is even better.

"I should have turned away from the door. I should have gone back into my own house, and locked my door, and thought no more about it....I thought about going back to my kitchen and phoning the police. Looking back, that was exactly what I should have done."

Two sentences from the opening chapter guaranteed to hook you right from the beginning. Human Remains is told in alternating chapters from the viewpoint of Annabel and Colin.

Annabel works as a civilian police analyst for the Briarstone (England) Police Department, tracking patterns in criminal behaviour. When she discovers a badly decomposed body in her own neighbourhood with no sign of foul play she's curious and runs a report looking for other people who have died with no one noticing. And what she discovers makes her take notice - the current year has four times as many as the past years. And those are the reported ones.

Colin, well, Colin is the one they're after. For those decomposing bodies hold a fascination for Colin. As his studies have progressed, Colin has begun helping things along. Oh boy, Colin is a seriously creepy and disturbed individual. His inner dialogue is downright frightening. Haynes has done a bang-up job creating her 'villain' this time around.

I love the back and forth style. Although we know who the 'criminal' is, the tension ratchets up as his behaviour escalates. (But why did I italicize criminal you ask? The question arises - is Colin doing anything that he can be charged with? I know, but you have to read the book to see what a diabolical plot Haynes has come up with. Annabel's chapters are just as suspenseful. Will the higher ups in the department listen to her? And when Colin and Annabel's paths cross......

There is a third set of narratives - that of the deceased. I found these to be the pages I stopped at to think. Haynes gives a voice to her deceased and the questions that the living ask when such a discovery is made. How does a body go undiscovered for years? Why did no one notice?

"You never realize what loneliness is until it creeps up on you - like a disease it is, something that happens to you gradually. I realized it had been years and years since anyone made eye contact with me. If people stop looking at you, do you cease to exist? Does it mean you're not a person anymore? Does it mean you're already dead?"

Their stories just really made me think. The library I work at does serve some marginalized patrons. I've often thought that for some, we may be the only point of contact some days. In real life, there are many deaths that go unnoticed. One of the most reported 'undiscovered body stories' is that of Joyce Vincent in England.

This is an excellent thriller - dark and disturbing. (Fair warning to gentle readers it's probably not for you). It was a five star page turner for me - devoured in one lazy vacation day. (And hey - say hi to your neighbour today...) ( )
  Twink | Sep 3, 2013 |
After having read and reviewing, In The Darkest Corner, I knew I had to read this book! I love Elizabeth Haynes’ work and the detail she includes behind the behavior and thoughts.

If you have never read Haynes’ work before, then you will most likely get confused with the many chapters dedicated to different people’s viewpoints. Don’t fret…don’t memorize who they are, because it will all come together like pieces of a puzzle.

Told through many viewpoints, the primary characters are Colin and Annabel, who you will get to know quite well by the end of the book. With so many mysterious deaths (possible suicides), Annabel begins to do her digging and finds that the deaths in her area are possibly linked to 1 killer…or is he??

The story goes into detail about what Colin does to help people end their life, but I never understood the dynamics behind his warped mind. While there were glimpses into his childhood, I couldn’t figure out if he had Antisocial Personality Disorder with some narcissistic traits, if he was experiencing some form of DID, or just plain sadistic. Because I didn’t understand his reasoning behind the fascination with the decaying process (more than just being an “angel”,helping people die), it was difficult for me to fully understand the storyline.

I did enjoy the questions a reader can’t help but ask: Are we alone in this world? Do we have a support system? What happens to those who don’t have anyone to look for them? Are we a target of some sort when out going about our day?

He reminded of America’s, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who did help people die. However, his reasons were more to help people die a dignified death and not one in pain and loss of control. Although, people will question that too.

What I enjoyed most about the book were the though provoking questions the reader leaves with and how an everyday ordinary life for someone can be anything but ordinary! And, no matter how busy someone is, invest in someone else…give back, be friendly, get to know those you surround yourself with. Because at the end of the day, no one knows the struggles and challenges one experiences at home.

It so happens that I saw this video on Facebook, that I wanted to share here. No, no one died. However, it really puts things in perspective and that no matter how bad or bleak things are, love connects us all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bSu_Snlbsw ( )
  booksintheburbs | Aug 29, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 190843418X, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:03 -0400)

"New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Haynes returns with a disturbing and powerful tale that preys on our darkest fears.Police analyst Annabel wouldn't describe herself as lonely. Her work and the needs of her aging mother keep her busy. But Annabel is shocked when she discovers her neighbors decomposing body in the house next door, and she is appalled to think that no one, including herself, noticed the womans absence. Annabel sets out to investigate, despite her colleagues; lack of interest, and discovers that such cases are frighteningly common in her hometown.A chilling thriller and a hymn to all the lonely people whose individual voices haunt its pages, Human Remains shows how vulnerable we are when we live alone, and how easily ordinary lives can fall apart when no one is watching"--… (more)

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