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Human Remains

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  4,913 Ratings  ·  568 Reviews
Human Remains is a deeply disturbing and powerful psychological thriller that will have you checking the locks on your doors and windows.

When Annabel, a police analyst, discovers her neighbour’s decomposing body in the house next door, she’s appalled to think that no one, including herself, noticed that anything was wrong.

Back at work, she feels compelled to investigate, d
Paperback, 393 pages
Published February 1st 2013 by Text Publishing (first published January 1st 2013)
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This is a deeply disturbing book, and it is definitely Elizabeth Haynes darkest so far. I devour her books as soon as they are released and I have loved them all so far. In each book I can back track to different times in my life and see a little bit of myself in each central character, which makes them all very real to me.

HUMAN REMAINS is told from two main points of view:
Annabel -a lonely police analyst who lives alone except for her cat.-why don't lonely woman ever have dogs?-Annabel discove
*5 scary, psychotic and yucky stars*


Absolutely loved it!
I was hesitant to read this book because of some of the reviews I've read that said it's nothing like the first book, that this one is slow, boring, gross and disgusting. Actually, gross and disgusting was the reason I decided to read it anyway :-). And why should it be like the first book anyway?
It's true, the book is slow paced and could feel like a drag. But I loved the book because of it. Stories like these should be descriptive and ha
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
I decided to read this fantastic novel again as it had so much impact on it when I read it before, my rating stays the same at 5 stars. I have loved all of Elizabeth Haynes' books, this one being no exception.

What I love about her books is her inside knowledge because of her career in the police force in the UK that she can put across in detail in her books.

Then there is always that underlying creepy tension that makes her books a blend of psychological thriller/crime/police procedural.

How we
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
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Michelle’s Review – 5 Skulls – A+

This book is so disturbing. I hated what it did to me, how it made me think, made me question how I treat others, question my own motives, and question my relationship with my family. I hated how I was so deeply embedded in the mind of a narcissistic sociopath that I could predict his reactions. What does that say about me when I know how a sociopath is going to react (or in this case, not react)? It s
A.E. Rawson
Apr 17, 2013 A.E. Rawson rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book was a friend's gift, an ebook.
I didn't know the author or the storyline.
And I'm not a fan of digital reading, but I decided to give it a try.
And the result? I really don't like reading e-books but Elizabeth Haynes has been a wonderful discovery for me!
Jan 12, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it
After going with a past and present narrative structure with her first two books Elizabeth Haynes has changed course with equally impressive results. The story goes of police analyst Annabel Hayer who discovers the decomposing body of her neighbour and is appalled when it is revealed that the person had been dead for along time without anyone seemingly noticing until know. After abit of investigation work Annabel finds out that there has been an unusully high amount of deaths in similar circumst ...more
Feb 05, 2017 Marianne rated it it was amazing
Human Remains is the third novel by former police intelligence analyst and author, Elizabeth Haynes. Searching for her missing cat, police intelligence analyst Annabel Hayer enters the abandoned house next to hers. She is shocked to find the decomposing body of her next-door-neighbour sitting in a lounge chair. Back at work, her interest piqued, she checks the data for similar cases, and is disturbed to note that the number has spiked in the last few months. Her superiors are only vaguely intere ...more
Jun 01, 2013 Zoeytron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Colin is a biology nut and a behavioral science aficionado. His life is one of careful order, his job is with the city financial department. He is a perfectionist and feels vastly superior to everyone else. Colin has long since given up on looking for Ms. Right as no one can hold to his standards. Oh, and his mother is in a nursing home. His take on that is this - 'May she rot quietly and stinkingly in her wingback armchair.' Delightful chap, wouldn't you say?

Annabel is a police analyst. She has
Nova Berry
Mar 31, 2013 Nova Berry rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 30, 2013 Donnelle rated it liked it
This one is tough (for me) to review. I don't think this is a book that can be enjoyed in terms of, say, liking what you're reading and fully intending to go back and reread it with some frequency, because the subject matter is far too sad, disturbing, and gruesome for that. Making things more complicated is that Elizabeth Haynes is a very talented author; one who knows how to evoke strong emotions in her readers. We're given insight into the lives of many of the "victims" (though calling them " ...more
Carla Palmeiro
May 05, 2015 Carla Palmeiro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars
Very disturbing but interesting read.

I do think the author captured really well the mind of a psychopath, Colin’s chapters were always my favorite, however it is a bit hard to believe that all these people were depressive enough to just kill themselves or allow to be killed by starving, can’t seem to think of a worse death than that!

I was torn between ratings for this one but ended giving it 4 stars, it’s not a perfect book but it was gripping and exciting to read.
When police analyst Annabel Hayer arrived home from work one evening, all she wanted was to relax in a hot bath. But the fates had other ideas! As she walked to her front door, she detected an unpleasant odour – believing her cat Lucy had decided to gift her with a mouse or similar, she prepared herself, but the smell was worse than that. Following her nose to the house next door, a house she believed had been empty for some months, she was horrified to discover the decomposing body of her neigh ...more
Cleo Bannister
Aug 17, 2013 Cleo Bannister rated it it was amazing
Having loved Into the Darkest Corner, but not enjoyed the storyline of Revenge of the Tide, I was unsure where Elizabeth Haynes third offering would lie but needn't have worried; this psychological thriller had me gripped from the first page, and remained so until the last word was read.

Annabel returns from her work as a Police Crime Analyst to find her cat covered in a sticky substance having visited the house next door. Going to investigate she finds far more than she expected.

The story is mai
Apr 20, 2013 Gayle rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth Haynes is fast becoming one of my favourite contemporary authors. I absolutely loved her first book which I stumbled upon by chance and this third book is excellent too. It focuses on an unusual serial killer and the unique way he preys upon his victims (I shan't say any more than that at this point). It is very dark as it highlights the group in society which wants to withdraw from the world and whose absence is not always missed. I also liked the narrative from both the perspective o ...more
Karin Slaughter
Apr 19, 2014 Karin Slaughter rated it it was amazing
You can always tell when an author really enjoys writing a story, and I think with this one the reader feels that in spades. The story tackles themes with which Elizabeth is more than familiar, and the psychological component can't be beat.
Lindsay (Little Reader Library)
‘I wanted to go home and lock the door and not open it again.’

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 di
Sue G
Jan 13, 2013 Sue G rated it really liked it
This is an unsusual and intriguing story and as well being a gripping thriller it is also fascinating to watch the main characters develop over the course of the book. It’s thought-provoking and certainly makes you question the power of the mind.

The opening chapter is great example for any writer who wants to see how to create tension - proper edge of your seat stuff!

We see the events unfolding from two different perspectives. Annabel is an intelligence analyst for the police. She's overweight,
Lynn Spencer
Aug 21, 2015 Lynn Spencer rated it really liked it
This book is truly a psychological thriller. On the surface, the action actually appears very quiet. Annabel leads a fairly drab life and often seems to wander through her job as a police analyst. Meanwhile people are being found dead, apparently of natural causes, in their own homes in Briarstone. While some of the details of folks who have been undiscovered for some time after death can get a tad gruesome, there is very little by way of overt violence in this book.

The plot basically centers on
Feb 11, 2013 Jo rated it it was amazing
I was introduced to Elizabeth Haynes by a TV book club programme. The book was Into The Darkest Corner and was superb. Next was Revenge of theTide- very different but equally as good, so good in fact that I pre-ordered her third book Human Remains as soon as I could on Amazon. Wow, Wow what a book. A superb tense psychological thriller with two main narratives- that of Annabel and that of Colin, interspersed with the stories of the dead bodies. The introduction of the thoughts of the victims was ...more
Heather L
I think if this would've had fewer pages, I probably would have felt differently and rated it higher. I thought Colin was creepy, Annabel was sad, and all the victims were just so depressing. I know this is a psychological thriller. But for me, I did not get connected enough to the story or the characters. This was verbose and just too drawn out. I'm a little bummed for I had high hopes with this one. I really enjoyed Into the Darkest Corner. Ah well, I'll try more of Haynes in the future. This ...more
Lou Robinson
Apr 24, 2013 Lou Robinson rated it really liked it
I agree with Gayle, Elizabeth Haynes is starting to top my list too. Again, I can't seem to drag myself away from murders and gruesomeness...but this ticks all the boxes. Really quite a believable story and a sad one at that. I do like the fact that it's set in the UK, and the author makes good use of her knowledge of the police force and their techniques.
I docked a star as I don't think it captivated me quite as much as Into the Darkest Corner. But I'll certainly be picking up a copy of Haynes'
Bill Kupersmith
Apr 08, 2013 Bill Kupersmith rated it really liked it
Elizabeth Haynes has been a wonderful discovery for me, principally for her marvellous and engaging characters. I really care what happens to them. In her first book, Into the Darkest Corner, I probably cared too much. Following Cathy first as a the victim of terrible domestic abuse and then as a sufferer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder was very painful. She starts out as a 20-something living in Lancaster (a town I quite like) living the life of a "ladette"; dressing up every weekend and goi ...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

Human Remains is is a disturbing tale raising questions about social alienation in modern society.

When civilian police analyst Annabel discovers the decomposing corpse of her neighbor she is distressed that no-one, including herself, had investigated the woman's absence. Curious, Annabel delves into the police files and makes a startling discovery, in her home town there has been 24 bodies decomposing bodies discovered in their homes in the past nine months - considerably more than recorded in p
Katy Noyes
Jan 21, 2013 Katy Noyes rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Another winner from Haynes.

Annabel works as a 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.
Apr 14, 2015 Michelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michelle by: Stefanie
“Once hope is gone, dying is just a formality.”

I don't know who said this, but it is a quote that popped into my head at several points throughout this book. Along with something my old sociology professor once said: while the internet has connected people around the globe in ways never thought possible, studies show that depression is on the rise, with people feeling more alone and isolated than ever before. This was echoed sometime later by my psychology professor, and I tend to agree. The fir
I have read both of Haynes’ previous novels - I particularly enjoyed her first book, Into the Darkest Corner, and though I found her second book, Dark Tide, disappointing, the premise of this third novel is simply too intriguing to pass up! The book opens with Annabel and her cat, Lucy, making a grisly discovery of decomposing remains in the home next door. The book switches to Colin’s perspective. At first, Colin seems like a socially awkward, loner-type man - perhaps afflicted with a hint of A ...more
Feb 19, 2013 Lin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some characters haunt you. Some scare you. Some make you think. Haynes' characters probably do all that in this book.
I had been looking forward to reading this book since I first heard its premise: Annabel is an analyst, who looks at police data and puts together reports. She notices a strange anomaly in the data, a large number of bodies found in their own homes, which had been dead for months, and through the story it is her data analysis that drives the crime investigation. I found the idea
Barry Doughty
Apr 18, 2013 Barry Doughty rated it liked it
Elizabeth uses each of her character’s voice to tell her story and heads each chapter with that characters name. At first I found this a little odd but one gets used to it, provided one is not put off by the depressing nature of her story. I very much liked her writing style; I found it easy to follow and would certainly try another of her books. On the negative side I couldn’t warm to her heroin, Annabelle, I felt she lacked character, but maybe that was why the writer portrayed her as a loner, ...more
Liz Barnsley
Mar 13, 2013 Liz Barnsley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Ms Haynes, usually so good at writing about relationships, takes a U-Turn for "Human Remains" and writes about what the lack of relationships can mean. Annabel, Police Analyst,discovers her neighbour's decomposing body in the house next door. Horrified by her discovery, she researches the subject and finds that such cases are terribly common in her home town. Told from the point of view of Annabel, Colin who works for the council and various "victims" this is a chilling read and one that won't l ...more
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Elizabeth Haynes grew up in Seaford, Sussex and studied English, German and Art History at Leicester University.

She previously worked as a police intelligence analyst and lives in Norfolk with her husband and son.
More about Elizabeth Haynes...

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“You never realise what loneliness is until it creeps up on you - like a disease, it is, something that happens to you gradually.” 14 likes
“Nobody can see pain. They have no frame of reference for pain that's happening to someone else. They can only see inactivity - which they interpret as laziness.” 14 likes
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