How well do you know your neighbours? Would you notice if they lived or died? Police analyst Annabel wouldn't describe herself as lonely. Her work keeps her busy and the needs of her ageing mother and her cat are more than enough to fill her time when she's on her own. But Annabel is shocked when she discovers her neighbour's decomposing body in the house next door, and appalled to think that no one, including herself, noticed her absence. Back at work she sets out to investigate, despite her police officer colleagues' lack of interest, and finds data showing that such cases are frighteningly common in her own home town. A chilling thriller and a hymn to all the lonely people, whose individual voices haunt the pages, Elizabeth Haynes' new novel is a deeply disturbing and powerful thriller that preys on our darkest fears, showing how vulnerable we are when we live alone, and how easily ordinary lives can fall apart when no one is watching.
British author Haynes's third crime novel effectively explores the dark corners of the human psyche. Soon after Annabel Hayer, a civilian crime analyst for the Briarstone police, discovers a neighbor's moldering body, she realizes that an astounding 24 such bodies have been discovered in Briarstone borough during the first nine months of 2012. The authorities didn't bother to investigate in a number of cases because the deaths weren't considered suspicious. Meanwhile, psychopath Colin Friedland preys on individuals who are ready to give up on life. Hayer, who manages to get senior officials to take the deaths seriously, is in danger of becoming another of Friedland's victims. Haynes (Into the Darkest Corner) does a good job detailing the multitude of painful circumstances that make people susceptible to Friedland's manipulations, as the contest between Hayer and Friedland plays out in surprising fashion.