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Into the Darkest Corner | [Elizabeth Haynes]

Into the Darkest Corner

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (1314 )
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4.1 (1109 )
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  •  
    Betty 06-05-12
    Betty 06-05-12 Listener Since 2007

    Elderly (1932), retired university professor, degrees in engineering and economics.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "AN OCD IS STALKED BY A PSYCHOPATH"


    This is a real page-turner. If you like a good suspense story, you will want to read this one. For a first novel Elizabeth Haynes has written an awards winner. She handles dialogue like a veteran writer. Her choice of time technique to tie major strands of the plots together is effective and fits the elements of the story perfectly. It is especially well suited to portray the development of the psychoses of the two primary characters.

    In addition to being a really good read (listen), it aroused my curiosity about the mental/emotional conditions suffered by Catherine and Lee. I knew almost nothing about OCD; I did not realize how painful and destructive it is. The descriptions of the behaviors of Lee raised questions read about too often in news reports about the impact of the constant high level of stress has on police officers and their families.

    A good book poses questions, offers something to think about and entertains. This is a good book. Enjoy.

    28 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 06-14-12
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 06-14-12 Member Since 2010

    Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Check, and check again . . ."

    In response to reviewers who commented on the story's predictability, this is more of a psychological thriller than a real mystery. We know from the beginning who was harmed and who did the crime. The story gradually unfolds the details of how the crime occured and the consequences very effectively through the parallel time lines and stark personality changes of before and after the trauma. The Catherine of the early years was flawed and a little hard to like, but the Cathy of the later years, while difficult to deal with locked in her OCD purgatory, was one to root for to come out of her dark into the light of the truly living. As readers, our perceptions are challenged by the very flaws and weaknesses of both versions of Catherine. There were a few spots in the narrative where I needed to suspend belief a bit regarding what choices key characters made in what they did or did not communicate, but not enough of a flaw to downgrade my rating.

    The strength of the writing and the dialogue ensured that I believed this story. I believed Cathy's fear, her need for control. I believed Stuart's concern and I definitely believed Lee's evil. The extremely well done reading by Karen Cass made these characters real. True enough, the subject matter is dark - no feel-good cheerleading going on here, but happily there are some unexpected little shots of humor tossed in for balance. And the ending was well handled - the destination worth the journey. There was no standing on the outside passively watching - I was fully pulled in right through to the end.

    31 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 08-22-12
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 08-22-12 Member Since 2013

    I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Engaging Story yet Lacking, Rather a 3.5"

    This book held my interest throughout. The story line is engaging, I wanted to get back to the story to find out what happens next. However this author lacks "chops". Her style is a bit sophomoric . Ms. Haynes presents the reader/listener one dimensional characters that are there only for the plot if that makes any sense; the characters have little else going on. I also feel that this book would benefit from more/better editing. BUT...I liked it anyway.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karen 01-06-13
    karen 01-06-13
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    Story
    "Almost gave up, but...."

    Okay -- it's a great book, if you can get past the first four hours or so. I was almost ready to give up -- even checked, midstream, to see what other readers were saying. How could they have liked something so boring? I had almost completely run out of patience with hour after hour of tales of working girls drinking themselves into oblivion at night, looking for someone to "shag", then struggling to work in the morning, hungover. Way too much of that. We get the idea. I also spent time pondering why it is that women who like the bad boys of the bunch, are surprised to find out that they're really ... uh... bad? Seems to be a syndrome.

    But all was redeemed as the end of Part One loomed. The story took off, and from then on, I was hooked. Very good -- lots of 'hold your breath' moments, lots of interesting twists. I'm now sitting here, knowing that whatever I choose to listen to next won't be as good.

    Special kudos to the narrator, Karen Cass. I don't recall listening to anything she's read before, but I will definitely seek her work out. She was absolutely perfect for this book, but I suspect she'd be great at other British novels, too. Really an excellent job -- just flawless. She did a lot of make this book the gripping listen that it was.

    18 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily - Audible NJ, United States 12-05-14
    Emily - Audible NJ, United States 12-05-14 Member Since 2010

    As an Audible Editor I listen for a living! British classics, YA novels, speculative fiction, and anything quirky, fascinating, or heart-wrenching.

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    "This Book is the Antidote to Christian Grey"

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rhonda WILBERFORCE NSW, Australia 06-05-12
    Rhonda WILBERFORCE NSW, Australia 06-05-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Predictable but an enjoyable listen"

    I enjoyed this book, the first half giving you little tid bits of what had happened and what maybe coming further into the story.

    The second half of the book moved along at a fast pace, and the tension mounted. It was a bit predictable but nevertheless still enjoyable.

    The narrator Karen Cass was great to listen too and did the voices very well. I was never confused as to who was who.

    Good book for a beach listen.

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 06-02-12
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 06-02-12 Member Since 2014

    glam

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    "Not My Cup of Tea"

    I wanted very much to get into this book, and to follow all the hype, but...

    While the topic and premise for the story are "spot on", I as a reader usually like to hear more from, and more about, the characters in terms of backstory, interests outside of the primary story arc, life trajectories, all in all just more context. But not TOO much - just a Goldilocks version. This book is the pared-down Baby Bear version, and reading "Darkest Corner" is like looking through a peephole into various aspects of relationship dysfunction and violence. I can't seem to get the whole picture, can't get any peripheral vision here.

    Also, the story is carried almost exclusively by dialogue - perhaps would make a better play than novel - and as a personal preference I like more description of location and characterization; at least a sense of place to set the scenes and create a relatable ambience. Here in the "Darkest Corner" the characters seem flat, uninteresting in themselves and for the most part uninterested in themselves, and they are laid out only as game pieces in the advancement of an ominous situation. What can you do with a story with primary characters whose chief activity is hanging out in pubs?

    This kind of situational story has good potential, especially the detailed snail's pace advancement of the plot lines, which makes for gripping intimacy and creates visceral reactions in the reader. Unfortunately, well, I have to say this came off as bare bones, just not enough.

    55 of 66 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Delah 04-15-12
    Delah 04-15-12 Member Since 2012

    Which came first... the books or the glasses?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing - Fantastic"

    This was a real "page-turner" as they say although of course I was listening to it. The narrator is first rate. I felt like she could have been in my living room telling me about her life. That's how good she was and how real it seemed as she was relating the story. I highly recommend this book.

    26 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 06-13-12
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 06-13-12

    Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unimpressed"

    This is a difficult book to listen to. Perhaps it's better in written form, where the reader can constantly skip back to re-check the dates for clarification. Here, the back-and-forth-in-time structure of the whole thing is simply confusing.
    Although the topic is timely and taken seriously in the plot, there is really nothing unexpected or particularly surprising that happens. It is simply the story of terrible things that happen to not very appealing people. There are many better thrillers out there; I don't recommend this one.

    19 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    10-15-12
    10-15-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Both Terrifying and up-lifting!"

    Personally, I found this novel talked to me as a woman in a past stage of my life. I am so glad that books like this are being written so that women can "come out of the darkest corner" and have the courage to point a finger at their abusers! the whole book was beautifully written with tenderness and never straying away from the sweet character of the main person, yet the OCB was well scripted into the story. The whole tale was gripping and held you right to the end with an unexpected twist. An excellent book, well recommended to both men and women.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
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  • Jo London
    5/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Read"

    Only down fall of listening to the brilliant book is the slight slip up's with narration .
    Catherine is Northern and Stewart is from Scotland , switching between accents is not always successful for the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • By Petra C
    London
    3/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "brilliant, gripping , unbearably tense!"

    loved it so much, well written, characters very real, absolutely unbearable near the end, but so very good!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Megan Hodgkins
    3/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Weak start but gets better!"

    I nearly gave up on this book a few times in the beginning. I thought not a lot happened for the first 5 hours or so and found Cathy quite irritating! However I am glad I persevered as it got better half way through, the last few chapters in particular I enjoyed. Good ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom
    2/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very good"

    Enjoyed this book. The writer gives an insight into domestic abuse like I didn't expect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • maggie57
    1/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A powerful story"

    Well written book and kept you on the edge all the through. I just couldn't put it down, just when you thought you knew what was going to happen the story took you by surprise. Really felt for Cathy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amanda
    1/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't stop listening"

    Really enjoyed this book. Well written and a really good story. Will read/listen to more from Elizabeth Haynes. Recommend

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Maggs
    Port Talbot
    1/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good read great narration"
    Would you try another book written by Elizabeth Haynes or narrated by David Thorpe and Karen Cass ?

    I read this book original 10 months ago & just read another by Elizabeth Hanes but didn't enjoy the other book, but really enjoyed listening to this book again. Don't be put off by my 3stars I'm quite a mean scorer. Would define artel read another book narration by David & karen


    Would you be willing to try another book from Elizabeth Haynes? Why or why not?

    No because the other one I read before rereading this one was horrid


    Did David Thorpe and Karen Cass do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

    Definately


    Do you think Into the Darkest Corner needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doormouse
    England
    1/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping to the last sentence"

    Listen to this on audible and couldn't turn it off. The two parallel story lines worked well together and kept the tension going throughout.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ann
    Newcastle, England
    10/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Could not put it down!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely, but with a caution. It isn't for anyone still psychologically traumatised by domestic violence.


    What about David Thorpe and Karen Cass ’s performance did you like?

    Very well narrated.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I felt shocked at many points. Tension built in me at other points about what was to come!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sally
    THEIL-RABIER, France
    4/14/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bit too brutallyexplicit for me"

    I thought the story content was very well decribed, having had a friend with OCD I know how accurate it was. I just found the sexually explicit description a bit too much. Possibly because it was read by a woman so nonchalently, I appreciate the subject matter required descriptions of violent sex, but I really don't want to hear it., so it was a bit of an uncomfortable listen for me.
    I didn't finish it because of that, because you know who did what to whom from the outset I felt no need to put myself through it... sorry
    IF you want to hear how people suffer with OCD it is very well decribed though!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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