Read Human Remains Online

Authors: Elizabeth Haynes

Tags: #Fiction, #Crime, #Contemporary Women

Human Remains

 

 

Praise for
Into the Darkest Corner

 

 

‘It’s hard to put the uniqueness of Elizabeth Haynes’ writing into words. Her stories grip you by the throat and force you to acknowledge that this is what real crime and real horror look and feel like, as well as real love, hope, fear. Suddenly, much of the other crime fiction you’ve read seems, in comparison, rather like stories made up by writers. Haynes is the most exciting thing to happen to crime fiction in a long time.’
Sophie Hannah

 

 

‘Check the locks on your doors and windows and surrender to this obsessive thriller.’
Karin Slaughter

 

 

‘Utterly unputdownable. A stunning debut.’
S J Watson

 

 

‘A chilling, page-turning read that charts domestic violence without flinching and portrays OCD with insight and compassion.’ Rosamund Lupton

 

 

‘A powerful psychological drama and portrayal of obsession.’
Daily Mail

 

 

‘Haynes’ powerful account of domestic violence is disquieting, yet unsensationalist. This is a gripping book on a topic which can never be highlighted enough.’
Guardian

 

 

‘Amazon UK’s Book of the Year, Haynes’ claustrophobic psychological thriller is a shocking portrayal of domestic abuse.’
Mslexia

 

 

‘A tense and thought-provoking debut novel with dark moments. Its portrayal of obsession will send a shiver down your spine.’
Shotsmag

 

 

‘A psychological thriller packed with tension and suspense. This is a debut of such strength you have to wonder if Haynes is the next Minette Walters.’
Rhian Davies, CWA John Creasey Dagger judge

 

 

‘A compulsive thriller with sufficient twists and plot turns to keep the most action-avaricious of readers satisfied.’
Bookgroup.info

 

 

‘Compelling and disturbing.’
Mystery Women

 

 

‘This beautifully dark and disturbing novel is seamlessly put together and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.’
Eurocrime

 

 

‘Fast-paced and chilling, with a realistic twist. Lock all your doors and settle down for one of the most gripping reads of the year!’
Pamreader

 

 

‘A nervy, heart-racing page-turner. It’s a one-sitting, impossible-to-put-down kind of book.’
Bookrambler

 

 

‘A harrowing psychological thriller.’
Publishers’ Weekly

 

 

‘Fast-paced, this is a stunning, scary suspense starring degrees of obsession.’
The Mystery Gazette

 

 

‘A
tour de force
debut novel that is both creepily disturbing and yet beautifully rendered.’
New York Review of Books

 

 

‘The tension in the novel builds relentlessly to a stunning and frightening conclusion. An unforgettable story.’
Suspense Magazine

 

 

 

Praise for
Revenge of the Tide

 

 

‘Haynes’ first novel was a sensation last year and this, her second, is just as impressive and in much the same mould.’
Daily Mail

 

 

‘Unputdownable, this thriller with a heart of gold reads like a breath of fresh air.’
Red Magazine

 

 

‘Haynes’ first book was Amazon’s Book of the Year last year so it was always going to be a tough act to follow.
Revenge of the Tide
clearly shows her initial success was no accident.’
Sunday Express

 

 

‘This second novel by Elizabeth Haynes is as excellent as her first one. It is full of suspense and intrigue and keeps the reader hanging on its every word. Very highly recommended.’
Eurocrime

 

 

‘Fear about the loss of control is at the heart of readers’ obsession with crime. That Haynes lends Genevieve power over fear, her body and the men for whom she dances has enabled her to create a character with more complexity than is usual in genre thrillers.’
Independent on Sunday

 

 


Revenge of the Tide
delivers everything I crave from a murder mystery: suspense, emotion, an element of humour, surprise, and, just when I thought I had the answers, Haynes adds another twist.’
Pretty Litter Magazine

 

 

‘A thoroughly gripping read. This is another great book from a promising author who is fast becoming one of my favourites.’
Crimesquad

 

 

‘Everything you could possibly want from a thriller: an intelligent and feisty heroine, a mysterious packet, complicated relationships and a great cast of characters who are not always as guilty or as above suspicion as they might at first appear. Do you want to add tension and intrigue to your everyday life? Read this novel. Now.’
Book After Book

 

 

‘Haynes’ first book was a runaway success so her second had a lot to live up to. I’m happy to say that from the first page I was engrossed in this gripping murder mystery; so much so that I finished it in just three sittings.’
Peterborough Evening Telegraph

 

 

‘This racy jeopardy thriller proves that Haynes’ much-praised first novel was no fluke.’
Morning Star

 

 

‘Do you know that feeling of dread when you pick up the second book of an author whose first book pulled you in and wouldn’t let you go? You’re longing for it to be of the same standard with hours of indulgent, satisfying reading ahead of you, but you’re equally conscious that it might be ‘the difficult second book’ which tells you quite clearly that this isn’t going to be an author to follow. This one sat on my desk for days and then I thought that it wouldn’t harm just to have a look, just to get an idea of what it was like… I finished it in the small hours of the following morning. It’s not long before you discover that this is the difficult-to-put-down second book. And if you haven’t read
Into the Darkest Corner
then you really should.’
The Bookbag

 

 

‘I really enjoyed
Into the Darkest Corner
and was looking forward to this second book. It is every bit as engaging. The plot is excellent… Plenty for reading groups to discuss.’
NewBooks Magazine

 

 

For an exclusive extract, turn to p.393

 
 

For my best friends
Angela Wiley, Karen Aslett and Lindsay Brown with love

 
Annabel
 
 

When I got home I could smell the bins on the cold air, a faint bad smell that made me wrinkle my nose.

Inside, I opened the back door, rattling the box of cat biscuits in the hope that it would bring her scurrying. It was a clear night, so she would most likely not make an appearance at the back door until I was in the bath, when she would howl and scratch to be let in. Despite the cat flap and my efforts to get her to use it – propping it open, coaxing her and bribing her and even shoving her forcefully through it – she ignored it and came in and out only when I was home to open the door for her. I’d even tried getting rid of the litter tray, but she’d just piss on the lino in the kitchen and then pull it up at the corner with her claws to try and cover her excretions. After that I gave up.

I stood in the doorway for a few minutes. ‘Lucy?’ I called, experimentally. ‘Lucy!’

Nothing. The bloody cat could stay out there all night, I thought, knowing for a fact that I would be down here in my bath towel in a couple of hours’ time, dripping wet and freezing, rattling the cat biscuits while she sat on the lawn and stared at me, punishing me for having taken too long.

I made myself a cup of peppermint tea and some cheese on toast, and ate it sitting at the kitchen table with one eye on the open door in case the cat might walk in and I could shut it and trap her inside. When I’d finished I scraped the crusts of the toast into the kitchen bin, sniffing. Something definitely smelt bad. The last time I’d smelt something this rotten, the cat had brought in a frog and I hadn’t realised until I found it, half-slimy, half-dried, under the dresser in the dining room, right at the back. I’d had to get on my hands and knees with a wad of kitchen towel and rubber gloves on to get rid of it.

I stood in the doorway again, wondering if Lucy had killed a pigeon this time and left it by the bins, not trusting me to dispose of it appropriately. I put on my slippers, took my torch from the drawer and ventured down the steps into the darkness, listening to the sound of the traffic from the main road beyond the trees. In the alleyway between my house and next door I lifted the lid off each of the two bins: the black one, and the green one for compostable waste. Both smelt unpleasant, but that wasn’t it. I shone the torch around the base of the bins. No pigeon, no rat – nothing dead.

The house next door was unoccupied, had been for some time, but as I stood there I realised I could see a light coming from inside. A dim golden light, as though a single bulb shone in a room somewhere inside, undisturbed.

I tried to remember when I’d last been out here. Sunday afternoon? But it had been broad daylight, sunny, and even if the light had been on next door then I wouldn’t have noticed it. Maybe an estate agent had been in, or a property developer, and left it on?

When I’d first moved in, a couple had been living next door. I fought for the memory – what was she called? Shelley, that was it. She’d introduced herself to me once. It had been summer, a hot day. I was just getting home and she was working in the front garden. She stopped me for a chat even though it was the last thing I wanted. Tired, fed up as usual, all I longed for was to get inside and prise my shoes away from my hot, aching feet and have a cold drink. All I remembered from that conversation was her name, and that her ‘partner’ – which always sounds odd to me, not ‘boyfriend’ or ‘husband’ or ‘fiancé’ – was called Graham. I never met him. I think he moved out that autumn, and although I saw her coming and going a few times up until last winter I assumed she’d moved out some time after Easter because I hadn’t seen her after that, and the garden she’d previously tended had grown wild and tangled.

At first it was just a feeling, a creeping sense of dread, and then I heard a noise from the direction of the empty house. Something was wrong. I peered across into the darkness as the cat pushed her way through the gate and trotted over to me, winding herself around my legs. She was covered in something, some mess, sticky and foul-smelling, wrapping herself round and round my skirt. My hand flew up to my nose and mouth to block out the smell.

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