Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

Human Remains – Elizabeth Haynes

Psychological Thriller 5*'s
Psychological Thriller

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 mainly narrated by Annabel and Colin, a worker at the council, and both seem to have difficulties with relationships witnessed by their working relationships, both find office life hard to deal with. Colin studies in his spare (and work) time with a particular interest in Neural Linguistic Programming, unfortunately he studies hard and his interest and motive run far beyond the simplified version that appears on many work training courses.

This book is fascinating as well as having a good story line and being well written. Relationships of all sorts except the normal romantic kind feature as well as the bigger picture on how as a society we fail to care about those who retreat from life. It is refreshing to have one of the main characters is a Police Data Analyst based upon the author’s profession; they do not often warrant a mention in crime novels.

The story is fresh much like Into the Darkest Corner and the writing engaging. There is a real feeling of menace to the book and I have a hunch that it is going to linger for a while.

I am now looking forward to Elizabeth Hayne’s next offering Under a Silent Moon which is due out 15 October 2013

Into the Darkest Corner was a truly outstanding book

Into the Darkest CornerInto the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Be warned this book leaps straight in with a transcript from a court case in May 2005. After this most of the book is written in two alternate stories, one starting in 2003, the other in 2007. The story of Cathy is about a young woman struggling to cope with OCD which causes her to spend much of her life checking and counting.

This is amazingly well written which gives the reader an insight into how OCD rules the lives of those that live with it. Tension is built and each time Cathy seems to be getting a grip on things something else happens to disturb her both in the past and the present. This is also one of those stories which stay with you after you have read it.

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Unfortunately I just didn’t enjoy Revenge of the Tide as much
Revenge of the TideRevenge of the Tide by Elizabeth Haynes
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I should have trusted my instincts when ordering this book. The subject matter of a pole dancer who leaves her life in London to renovate a boat in Kent didn’t exactly thrill me but given how much I enjoyed Into the Darkest CornerI ignored my misgivings. After all Elizabeth Haynes wrote such a gripping debut story so must have something hidden to deliver. To be fair the first part of the book was ok, Genevieve the former pole dancer had a good job and was pole dancing for exercise and money to buy the boat but after that it descended into cliche. Her former life in London was full of shallow people (except her fellow pole dancer friend) and the boat people are the most generous she’d ever met, Genevieve then finds herself in the most predictable of situations given that she was hiding something on the boat…..

Not for me and a lesson to all that if the plot is thin then no matter how good the writing it is not an enjoyable experience for the reader. I just didn’t care about any of the characters at all, maybe it was written as a tv drama?

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A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

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