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Wednesday 12 June 2013

‘Human Remains’ by Elizabeth Haynes

Published by Myriad Editions,
14 February 2013.
ISBN: 978-1-908-434180

Annabel works for the police as an analyst.  One day she follows her cat into her neighbour's house, which she believes is empty.  Her neighbour is still there, dead, and has been for some time. 

Following this up at work, Annabel discovers that this is not an isolated incident. Lots of people die alone in their houses, but in Briarstone there seem to be a lot more than anywhere else.  In fact, even in Briarstone the numbers have increased over the last year - 24 deaths in three months, compared with four over the whole of the previous year.  Annabel tries to follow this up, with the assistance of an over enthusiastic reporter, but the nature of the crimes means that it isn't a priority for the local police.  Meanwhile, she finds herself being targeted by the very person crafting these unusual crimes.

This is a really disturbing book, especially if you live alone and occasionally don't speak to people for two or three days.  The victims all follow this profile and no one notices when they're gone.  Elizabeth Haynes spins her web of despair so well you find yourself falling into the feelings of both the protagonist, Annabel, and interweaves her tale with the disturbing thoughts of the victims and the  perpetrator.  Well crafted and skillfully told, this is not a book to take home with you alone!
Reviewer: Amanda Brown

Elizabeth Haynes is a police intelligence analyst. She started writing fiction in 2006 thanks to the annual challenge of National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) and the encouragement of the creative writing courses at West Dean College. She lives in a village near Maidstone, Kent, with her husband and son.

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