Book Review: Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes

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Rating: 2.5 / 5

Police analyst Annabel Hayer lives a solitary life, keeping to herself at work and tending to mother outside of working hours.  One night, she discovers the body of her neighbor decomposing in the house next door.  Since there seems to be no foul play, no one in the police is concerned, except for Annabel.  Curious, she researches past deaths in her town, and comes to a shocking realization that even though there were no victims, this year there is a huge spike in bodies found in homes.

On one hand, there is Annabel’s story, and on the other, is the story from Colin’s point of view.  It was difficult to understand Colin, first because it hard to see where he fit in relation to Annabel, and because he is not very likable.  While the author does include Colin’s backstory, he was just a character I didn’t relate to or understand.  Additionally, there’s no reason given for why he does what he does.  I got the feeling that it was just because he could, but really, that explanation doesn’t suffice.

I did like Annabel, but I also didn’t fully understand her.  She was quirky, and the way her character was written, it seemed like there was a reason behind it, but again, none was given.  I couldn’t decide if she was just an introvert and shy, or severely anti-social to the point of it being debilitative.  I wanted to like her, but in the end, I consider her just a mediocre character.

I’ve read one of the author’s previous works, Into the Darkest Corner, which was phenomenal.  That book packed a punch and left me reeling.  With Human Remains, I just didn’t get into the story.  Neither character was compelling, and I kept going back to what the killer’s motives were, and why was Annabel so socially awkward.  I will pick up Dark Tide, and anything else Haynes writes, but I have to say that this book didn’t really move or interest me.

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