Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes (Thoughts On)

Title: Human Remains
Author: Elizabeth Haynes
Pages: 438
Publisher: Harper
Source: library
Rating: 4/5

Summary from Goodreads:

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 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.

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.

I've been craving more adult fiction lately so while perusing the new fiction stacks at the library, this title caught my eye. Then the cover kept my attention. It was the tagline "How well do you know your neighbors?" that made me put it in my bag though. How well do we know our neighbors?

That Annabel's neighbor had been dead in the house next door for so long without anyone noticing is a sad commentary on society. We are so caught up in our Facebook "friendships" and in tweeting every little thing that we don't really look up from our little phone screens.

I'm guilty of not actually wanting to know ANYTHING about my neighbors. I've always thought that there was nothing wrong with just wanting to go in my house and be left alone. This book really made me think though. It's a typical thriller but the subject is really interesting.

It seems that there is more to the story when Annabel goes digging into other cases with severely decomposed bodies. The story is told from multiple points of view and this switch up of narration keeps the tension going. We learn pretty early on who's responsible but the need to know how and why made me read on.

I think that thriller fans will really enjoy this one. I look forward to reading more by this author. It was well written with interesting characters and enough suspense to carry you through the entire book.


  1. Stuff like this in the news always fascinates and alarms me. I would probably love this book, but it might also scare the stuffing out of me.

    1. It wasn't really all that scary but it sure was a sad commentary on modern life. We live so separately.


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