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Human Remains

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  7,063 ratings  ·  724 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
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Linda Scott Adults. Gruesome scenes and psychological stressors

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Average rating 3.57  · 
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 ·  7,063 ratings  ·  724 reviews

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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
Karin Slaughter
Apr 19, 2014 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. ...more
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
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
Emmy Hermina Nathasia
Truthfully, I am a bit disappointed. The reviews were hinting on something really gruesome and terrible. It wasn't. At least for me. Maybe it is because I am already familiar with the topic discussed in the book. But still, an interesting highlight from the writer on connecting NLP, influence and intent. ...more
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: four-star
This author certainly knows how to create a shocking read! Her stories are dark and hit upon some of the most secretive taboos in society.

Told from multiple perspectives but predominately from Annabel, the crime analyst, and Colin, the typically weird loner type with an obsession of decomposing human flesh.

When bodies increasingly start to be found in various states of decomposition, Annabel is determined to find the link between them. What she doesn't realise is that the suspect already has h
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!
May 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-kindle
This book was lacking it was slow and going nowhere for other book from this author which I've enjoyed.didnt enjoy the characters theres no excitement or twist.hope next one is alot better. ...more
Jun 01, 2013 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
Ann Rawson
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 30, 2013 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
Cora Tea Party Princess
Nov 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
DNF at 30%, which is a little over four hours in. I could not do the other 9, no way.


This audiobook was awful. Truly awful.

Before I bought it, I listened to the sample. The sample was great; a British narrator with a pleasant voice who I felt really brought the character to life. I enjoyed the humour in the writing even in the five minute sample. And Human Remains was quite pleasant to listen to. For the first chapter. Only. Which is only thirteen minutes long.

In the second chapter, Ka
Krystin Rachel
Book Blog | Bookstagram

Creepy! Thrilling! Disturbing! Those are just some of the words used to describe this book, influencing my decision to read it. But beware: I did not get any of that out of this read.

It was plodding and utterly predictable. There was no tension, no mystery, no thrills and it was not creepy - just kind of gross sometimes, but even that was written like a science textbook, quelling the ick factor down to a bored-in-science-class vibe. The only reason I kept reading was becau
Jan 12, 2013 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
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
Cleopatra  Pullen
Aug 17, 2013 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
Feb 05, 2017 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
Nova Berry
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
After the creepy but brilliant, 'Into the Darkest Corner', Elizabeth Hayes had a difficult task to follow it with something just as engaging. I'm afraid, for met at least, this was not it. 'Human Remains' is by no means a bad book, Hayes writing is sharp and the story well thought out.Inevitably though, I compared it to her first novel and it just didn't quite measure up.
What I like about this book and 'Into the Darkest Corner', is that Hayes doesn't make human weakness or neuroses something sha
Carla Palmeiro
May 05, 2015 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.
Nick Davies
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
This wasn't a comfortable read, nor a particularly enjoyable one at times, but it overall did impress me and strike me as impactful. The plot surrounds an apparent epidemic of people being found alone, dead and in a state of decomposition in their own houses, and a journalist and (unusual vocation choice) civilian data analyst for the police trying to get to the bottom of it.

I can understand those readers who complained that the book did drag a little at times, there was a slow sense to parts of
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Looking for a disturbing thriller that you don't want to put down but at the same time want to cover your eyes? This is the book for you!

I saw this book recommended on a book page saying how it was disturbing but an unforgettable read and WOW is that true. There were parts that made me cringe, parts where I just couldn't understand how people could just decide to lay down and sleep, not eat or drink until they die. Obviously that became clear later.

Then there was a part where Annabel and Colin m
Aug 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book, published in 2013, is the third one I've read in the last few weeks by Elizabeth Haynes. In it, Annabel is a public protection analyst at the police department, meaning she usually analyzes data on sex offenders. Colin watches porn all night. He's a nasty pervert who has research projects on the side. Annabel discovers that 24 bodies have been found in various stages of decomposition in the city since the beginning of the year. Red flag for her even though she can't find evidence of m ...more
Liz Barnsley
Mar 13, 2013 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
Apr 20, 2013 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
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
Bill Kupersmith
Apr 08, 2013 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
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
‘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
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
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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.

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When it comes to the romance genre, second books can be a bit like second dates, can't they? You've had that great initial meet-cute with...
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“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.” 18 likes
“You never realise what loneliness is until it creeps up on you - like a disease, it is, something that happens to you gradually.” 13 likes
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