AMAZON BOOK OF THE YEAR 2011
WINNER OF AMAZON RISING STARS 2011
AMAZON EDITORS' CHOICE BEST CRIME NOVEL OF 2011
LONGLISTED FOR CWA JOHN CREASEY (NEW BLOOD) DAGGER 2011
Catherine has been enjoying the single life for long enough to know a good catch when she sees one. Gorgeous, charismatic, spontaneous – Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. And her friends clearly agree, as each in turn falls under his spell.
But there is a darker side to Lee. His erratic, controlling and sometimes frightening behaviour means that Catherine is increasingly isolated. Driven into the darkest corner of her world, and trusting no one, she plans a meticulous escape. Four years later, struggling to overcome her demons, Catherine dares to believe she might be safe from harm. Until one phone call changes everything.
This is an edgy and powerful first novel, utterly convincing in its portrayal of obsession, and a tour de force of suspense.
©2012 Elizabeth Haynes (P)2012 Audible Ltd
"Check the locks on your doors and windows and surrender to this obsessive thriller." (Karin Slaughter)
“This intense, gripping account of domestic violence and its aftermath is utterly unputdownable. A stunning debut.” (SJ Watson)
“From its uncompromising prologue - a young woman being bludgeoned to death in a ditch - Haynes's powerful account of domestic violence is disquieting, yet unsensationalist. This is a gripping book on a topic which can never be highlighted enough.” (Guardian)
“A very impressive first novel. The pain and frustration of OCD is brilliantly evoked and I winced every time Cathy embarked on yet another ritual. The contrast between Cathy's two lives is cleverly drawn and the hesitancy in her new relationship is very believable. This is a fantastic personal read with plenty for a reading group to discuss.” (NewBooks Magazine)
“Within ten minutes I couldn't put it down. I've always said that I would never be caught in an abusive relationship, as I'd be out of it at the first sign of a problem but after reading this book I realised that it really isn't that simple. There's a superb picture of the burdens of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). It's not enough to check once that the door is firmly locked. What if you didn't lock it properly? There's real dramatic tension in this book and when I got to the end the first thing that I did was to turn back to the beginning again.” (The Bookbag)
“A tense and thought-provoking début novel with dark moments. Its portrayal of obsession is one that will send a shiver down your spine and you'll hope that you are never in that position. But don't look for a "pat" ending - it seems that things never end the way one hopes! This début novel by a police intelligence analyst is certainly well worth the read.” (Shotsmag)
“Our South coast-based book group had been starved of a good book for a month or two, so it was with some excitement that we stumbled across the buzz on Twitter about Elizabeth Haynes' compelling debut novel Into the Darkest Corner. Thankfully starvation swiftly changed to gluttony when we got our hands on the book, as this is a compulsive thriller with sufficient twists and plot turns to keep the most action-avaricious of readers satisfied.” (Bookgroup.info)
The reviews that talk about the confusing nature of the back and forth in time are correct. But if you will just keep in mind that 2008 is current and 2004 is looking back you will be fine. And the confusion is well worth it. Stick with it for an hour and it won't be a problem after that. This was a great book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The narrator can make or break a book and this one is excellent. The suspense at times had me afraid to drive! Because of the back and forth in time, you know what is coming and you stay braced for it. Go for it - it is quite long and I still did not want it to end!
As an Audible Editor I listen for a living! British classics, YA novels, speculative fiction, and anything quirky, fascinating, or heart-wrenching.
When Catherine meets Lee he’s charming and passionate and everything she thinks she’s looking for. But in a carefully plotted narrative that cuts between Catherine’s care-free past and her damaged paranoid present, Elizabeth Haynes shows how what seems like love can and rapidly morph into brutal obsession and abuse. Full of the same dread and creepiness present in Gone Girl, Into the Darkest Corner catches you totally off guard as you wonder how you never saw the inevitable coming.
This book is pretty good from a performance and "construction" perspective. Exploring the topic of abuse, Ms. Haynes creates a set of characters that ably illustrate both the context and the effect of such abuse. The performance is very good. In some ways, the novel feels like a creative writing project for which high marks would have been given; however, outside of the "classroom", the novel is a little too forced.
A long time reader and listener - I just can't get enough of Audible! (Especially mysteries and Buddhist texts and history and ...etc!
I usually like cozy mysteries, or police procedurals, or, in any case, straight-up mysteries.
But this book looked like it would be suspenseful and a bit different. And it so totally was!
I loved the way the story unfolded, going between Catherine (four years ago) and Cathy now. And we, the reader, know what happened, we feel it. So we feel it coming, and we already know the effect it had on Cathy, but how will this all culminate in the climax??
The narration was well done, BUT at one point there was a cough. I didn't know if it was the character or the reader (I suspect the narrator). And occasionally she (the narrator) didn't change voice/intonation between characters. But mostly it was very very good.
One reviewer felt that the book was hard to follow - I didn't find this to be the case, but I realize that you DO have to listen for the dates, so you know the "now and then". It helps to know when you start listening that the two seemingly different central narrating characters are the same woman, just changed by trauma.
In any case, I could not stop listening to this book. I stayed up extra-late, and kept telling myself, "Just half an hour more, then I'll go to bed...". Ha.
I highly recommend this book if you like suspenseful stories, and you don't mind knowing who the bad guy is from the beginning.
I love books!
A debut novel so a first time author for me. It had great critical acclaim so I had to give it a shot. It was really intense, a page turner that was so intense you sometimes had to take a break from it. It was very sexually explicit. You'd hope there aren't really people like this in the world but i suppose there are. Will look forward to the next book by E Haynes.
I'm trying to wean myself and learn to function without earbuds for more than ten minutes at a time. It hasn't been easy. I lose balance...
Not my usual genre. But a good read for a long drive and overall a nice setup. Since the book starts with a murder, the end does take some time to unravel (which is nice). Most of the story is about this girl finding her strength amid serious domestic abuse. There were times when the plot was a wee bit thin on "why don't you get out," but mostly it's a good yarn and well read.
Addicted to Audible!
I don't understand the hype on this book. I generally have no problem following audio books that have complicated plots- but with this one I was totally unable to follow the story. The constant volley between past and present with a reader who really didnt change intonation was just too confusing to me. I listened to an hour then started over, listened to it again for another hour and started over and then decided it was not worth any more of my time. The character was hard to relate to and unlikeable and the plot simply boring. I do NOT recommend wasting your credits on this one.
Canadian girl in Kansas, love audible, books on kindle or kindle fire, and old fashioned books! I enjoy fiction most, mostly books with strong female leads. Favourite authors: Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, Pat Conroy, Andre Dubus III, Lisa Genova, many more!
We are first introduced to Lee when we see him pleading guilty to abusing and stalking a woman, in the courthouse. Haynes then skips back in time to when Lee and heroine Catherine meet.
Catherine and Lee have a wonderful new relationship. Although his 'work' has perplexing hours, and Catherine doesn't know why he won't tell her more about it, he otherwise seems like the perfect guy. He is dashing, handsome, and he truly cares about her. Catherine's friends are over-the-top jealous and they believe, as she does at first, that she's caught the perfect fish.
As Catherine and Lee's relationship progresses, Catherine begins to get a little edgy. Lee starts to be very controlling and then he gets to the point where he is stalking Catherine. He then begins to abuse her in many gruesome ways. Catherine cannot believe that she's let herself become 'one of those women' who allows for things like this to happen. Her friends shame her for breaking up with Lee, because he's a charmer and talks to them about his broken heart. As abusers often do, he projects Catherine as the horrible person and himself as the one who's just trying to do the best thing.
The book is a psychological thriller with a deep tension. It's sort of different because we already know that Lee is the bad guy, it's not a surprise. It's just a constant mind game with a very interesting climax and denouement. This book is not for the faint at heart, but I would recommend it as an excellent thriller to anyone who loves a great, suspenseful novel.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY - I really enjoyed this book. The narration jumps back and forth between two timelines which are basically before and after a horrific attack on the main character, Catherine. It is easy to keep track of which timeline you are in because the characters and actions are so different, plus the narrator reads the month and year each time it changes. It's facinating to see party girl Catherine's life before the attack and watch the events unfold that lead to its occurrence, then switch to how her life has changed post-attack and how she fights to live a normal life. The biggest negative to this book is listening to her CONSTANTLY check the doors and locks (due to OCD) in the second timeline. While it's an important part of her personality, it doesn't necessarily make interesting listening time.
This book has romance but also some suspenseful and painful moments. It is an easy book to listen to -- you don't have to worry about hearing every single detail or trying to keep tons of characters straight in your mind. Good book to clean house or run some errands.
NARRATORS - I don't know why they used two narrators the way they did in this book. Most is read by a woman with a very charming Scottish(?) accent. The male voice is only a tiny bit at the beginning and then a little at the end of the book for the trial segments. While it was nice to hear a male voice for the lawyers and the judge, it was strange to hear the voice of Sylvia read by a man when throughout the rest of the book she had been read by a woman. Whatever, the narration was good so not a big deal.
OVERALL - This story has romance, suspense and an interesting perspective of someone who has been through a violent crime. A little tedius for the first few hours but worth it in the end.
I'll admit that I'm normally a sucker for more obvious tropes in my thrillers. With no immediately discernible evil psychopath and no readers claiming it to be disturbingly dark and gory, had this book not been reviewed so well, I may have passed it by. The remarkably believable character development and internal monologues are what immediately grabbed me about Into the Darkest Corner, and the narrator was positively brilliant, a perfect voice for the protagonist.
"I just didn't get it.."
I was expecting great things of this book but for me it just didn't deliver, in fact I only finished the first part because I couldn't bear any more narrative around her "going out with her mates". I seemed to listen to it for hours on end and didn't even reach the point where she "plans her meticulous escape". This book needed to get a move on, it was way too slow for me...maybe if you stick with it it will improve, not my cup of tea I'm afraid.
I feel misled by the critics' plaudits: this book is just dull - any tension there might be is drowned in the interminable detail. Of course, the reality of domestic abuse must consist of a long slow descent to the unbearable - but the way this was strung out over the two time periods - and, worse, the lack of any wit or invention in the language - was just tedious: I got through part 1, then could no longer be bothered. The main character is so vapid that the initial sympathy wanes swiftly. And the narrator does not help: her version of the Lancaster accent simply does not have the depth to convey any real emotion at all. And please , please, Audible - if the vast majority of a book is read in one voice - do not give us a sample in another, vastly more amenable voice, which lasts but the first 15 minutes - even more misleading!
"A bit disappointing"
We got this on the strength of David Thorpes narration, sadly he only does the last 15 minutes of courtroom dialogue.
A not very engaging book, you might like it, but find something else to read first.
"Story so-so, performance blah"
Performance, performance, performance!
I'm really sorry to say this, but this was the worst listen for me in like ever! It could be it's just me but the readers voice, tone, dialect just didn't fit in at all! I couldn't wait for the story to be over. And then, the story? Just too shallow. I may be spoiled with the kings like King for example but still I felt as if the story wasn't just indepth enough.
No. Mainly because of the performance.
David was fine, as he didn't have all that much (well, actually, very little) text, but Karen - I'm sorry but as I said, it could be just me but her voice, tone, dialect got on my nerves so much I couldn't wait for the story to end.
It would be good to have excerpts of the more than just one passage of the book so that one would be able to hear more variations of the voice before buying.
"Outstanding - Gripping to the very last moment"
When the story began with the description of someone with OCD going through one of her rituals, I wasn't sure if I wanted to listen to the rest of the book for fear it would be more of the same. I am so very glad I did - it is one of the most gripping and thrilling books I've listened to in ages. The character's progress throughout the book is realistic and very inspiring... I thoroughly recommend this - and I can't wait to listen to more from this author. And the main narrator was excellent. I don't think the second narrator was necessary at all.
"un put downable"
Anyone who has had any encounter, either personal or via a friend in this situation, will see how cleverly this book has been written. How manipulative the abuser can be, conning the friends onto his side, starting with something small and how quickly the control can take over. The abuse does not have to be so physical, mental control is just as bad and I think she portrays this brilliantly and the tension when he is released, is he, isn't he.....
"Threatening, menacing, chilling and so possible!"
The narration was excellent with all the accents very authentic. The phrasing during moments of terror or pleading were excellent. It took a little while to get into the story and it was difficult to understand why we had to listen to the repetetive processes of the main character until we discovered why. At times I was puzzled as to why Catherine went from a trembling mess to someone that was able to confront dangerous situations without letting anyone know where she was going or a phone call to the police. Apart from this, the story was very convincing, very modern and at times difficult to listen to, such was the terror portrayed by the narrator. Would thoroughly recommend it.
I loved this book. the author really built the suspense up throughout starting with seemingly innocent events happening to the main character by her new boyfriend which she shrugged off and made excuses for until she was totally under his control. I also loved how the book was split into alternative chapters four years apart, telling of her life from when she first met him to a few years later trying to move on and come to terms with the hell he put her through. highly recommended.
"Elizabeth Haynes is ALL STARS"
I am falling in love with this writer. She writes contemporary fiction with a real twist, i.e., not your standard dribble. This book is full of suspense. The research into her characters was excellent and I really believed in the characters although sometimes it was a little uncomfortable for my tastes but for this writer I will persist. Loved Revenge of the Tide too even more.
"Gripping, harrowing and tense"
This is without doubt the best book I have ever listened to and would highly recommend it. It is a gripping, harrowing, tense listen that portrays the absolute hell experienced by a sufferer of domestic violence. Every time I thought I knew what was happening and where the plot was going there were further surprises. This book completely took over my life for a few days and I absolutely applaud the author.
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