Book: Human Remains
Author: Elizabeth Haynes
Review: Annabel, a civilian police analyst, discovers the remains of her next door neighbor (whom she assumed moved out months ago). Horrified that she didn't know her neighbor had been dead for months, Annabel starts researching cases around town and finds several instances where human remains have been found months after the person died. Even more surprising, the ME rules the deaths 'natural causes.' Annabel begins to think something sinister is at work, while wondering how all these people could die without anyone realizing they were missing to begin with.
'Human Remains' is told from three perspectives. Annabel: Annabel is in her late 30's and is dedicated to her job, her ailing mother and her cat. She wants to figure out why these people are dying and why no one has noticed they were missing. What is the pattern? Colin: Colin Friedland, on the other hand, is a sociopath who is obsessed with death and decomposition. He also has an ability to seek out extremely lonely/depressed people, put them at ease and tell them to "let go." Dead: spirits of those whom Colin 'encouraged' to let go and die. When Annabel's mother dies, she falls into depression and into Colin's web.
This was a very interesting book. Although Annabel was relatively passive, I found myself rooting for her. Colin is evil and I was fascinated by his thought patterns and actions (he complete lack of awareness in certain situations was amusing). Haynes has a special talent creating creepy characters. However, I think the most interesting thing about this book is that it makes you think about your relationships with your family, friends and yes, even neighbors. The concept of 'victim' is also challenged in this book.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. **spoiler alert** I was waiting for something 'more' in the sense that I thought Colin was really murdering the people or giving them some drug at some point, but still an interesting read.