How far would you go to protect your family? Single dad Ben is doing his best to raise his children, with the help of his devoted mother, Judi. And then Ben meets Amber....
Mia Hamilton lived the perfect life with her husband, university teacher Zach, and their two-year-old daughter. But everything changed when Zach committed suicide....
A new neighbour becomes a new friend. She looks up to you. She admires you, but then - you realise - she wants your life....
In the summer of 2006, Emma Price watched helplessly as her six-year-old son's red coat was fished out of the River Ouse....
Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar, and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she's thrilled....
You know that feeling? When you want something so badly, you almost feel you'd kill for it? Be careful what you wish for....
New York Times best-selling author Elizabeth Haynes returns with a disturbing and powerful tale that preys on our darkest fears....
The last thing to go through Dominique Thomas's head was the image of her teenage daughter's face and her heart lifted. Then the shot rang out....
They say every marriage has its secrets. But no one sees what happens behind closed doors. And sometimes those doors should never be opened....
Her dream home will become her worst nightmare....
Agatha is pregnant and works part time stocking shelves at a grocery store in a ritzy London suburb, counting down the days until her baby is due....
On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the stunning and mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth....
Clara Lawson is torn from her life in an instant. Without warning, her home is invaded by armed men, and she finds herself separated from her beloved husband and daughters....
Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do. You'd like to get to know Grace. But it's difficult....
Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside - the woman who was killed....
Ten years ago college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie-scale massacre....
A dark and claustrophobic thriller in which a normal, everyday woman becomes trapped in the confines of her normal, everyday world....
With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake....
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.
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.
30 of 31 people found this review helpful
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.
34 of 37 people found this review helpful
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.
23 of 25 people found this review helpful
I was nearly halfway through this novel before my "real" interest was piqued. I think that the narrator's voice kept me listening for a while with only half an ear to what she was saying. I kept tuning in and out (waiting for some action to start) until I realized that a good portion of the story was being told in flashbacks. The story was constantly going back and forth in time. The flashbacks were done in a way that helped the listener understand and "expect" certain kinds of things to happen in the future. The story depicted the frustration, burdens and struggles of a woman with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) coupled with the pain and misery of domestic violence.
The prologue sets the stage of what's to come, even though the first few chapters were repetitious about a group of working girls going out after work and drinking themselves into a state of insensibility, then looking for someone to "shag," and then struggling to get to work the next morning. When the story really got going, there were sufficient drama and tension which helped to move the along, and motivated me to continue listening.
I was satisfied with the ending and remember thinking that the story had a rough start but ended well, and I liked it!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
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.
24 of 28 people found this review helpful
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.
59 of 70 people found this review helpful
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.
27 of 32 people found this review helpful
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!
12 of 14 people found this review helpful
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.
15 of 18 people found this review helpful
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.
14 of 17 people found this review helpful
I was unsure what to say in this review. To say I enjoyed listening to this seems wrong somehow, yet I really did enjoy it. At times it had me in tears and is quite harrrowing in places, especially thinking about the thousands of people going through abuse like this every day. I am not sure it really needed the two narrators as I thought the main one was very good.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful
I loved this book. The story was gripping and was just graphic enough in detail to make it real. The swearing was needed to keep the edge and reflect the aggression. I particularly liked the use of the different dates and the different style used for the court case at the end. I certainly dont agree it was confusing. Given the varied quality of audio books I thought the negative reviews are not at all merited.
If I had a complaint it would be the Lancashire accent which sometimes missed but it was good enough. But then I do have a true Lancashire accent!
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to Into the Darkest Corner again? Why?
The story is one that captivates you from the off. A story that can and has happened in real life and the characters each bringing their own slant to the story. True life situations especially those suffering from OCD will relate to aspect of the book. A must read for all fans of the genre
What other book might you compare Into the Darkest Corner to, and why?
Cant say ive read one with a similar story but recommendations would be Human Remains also by Ms Haynes which had me hooked from start to finish
Have you listened to any of David Thorpe and Karen Cass ’s other performances? How does this one compare?
I have listened to Karan Cass twice before and she gives a flawless performance in this book with accents and variations for each character. David's performance is similar although his part is smaller that that of Ms Cass
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Danger lurks around every corner, so check it six times
Any additional comments?
I would urge you to read Human Remains by the same author. First class read.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Is there anything you would change about this book?
How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?
would not have changed it.
What aspect of David Thorpe and Karen Cass ’s performance might you have changed?
karens tone grated a little, but not enough for me to switch off.
Did Into the Darkest Corner inspire you to do anything?
Any additional comments?
only reason for me to comment is that i thought all the negative reviews were not justified.Its not the best audio download I've ever listened to, but its certainly not the worst either.Also made me aware of the serous ramifications of domestic violence.Im 'mid listen' at the moment, and have no intention of not completing the book.Well done Elizabeth Haynes.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
I found this book extremely gripping and tense, and the author managed to keep the tension going by the clever use of past and present tense. As soon as I'd finished it I wanted to listen to the opening paragraphs again. The difficult subject matter was handled intelligently, and I was never irritated by Catherine's compulsions. It was really hard to believe this character would get the 'happy ever after' we so wanted for her... but I won't spoil it for you!<br/>Took it on holiday, and consequently barely spoke to my poor husband for the first two days, as I couldn't stop listening until I knew the outcome for Catherine.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful
I strongly recommend this audio book. It was captivating from beginning to end. An absolute delight to listen to
9 of 11 people found this review helpful
This was a very good book well written and very well read. If I have one critiscism it is that too many four letter words were used. I have no objection at all to strong language in fact it makes the story and characters more believable but in many cases less is more.However, I will watch with great interest for the next novel from this author.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful
Overall I almost enjoyed this book, but the strong desire to turn off happened more than once. The two different narrators was confusing especially when at one moment Sylvia was being done in a woman's voice and I knew who she was, to being done in a man's voice during the chapters done in court. Also the constant naming of who was speaking every time the character changed in the court chapters was just simply annoying, we should not need "Miss Bartlett", "Mrs Scott" etc etc before every sentence to know who was speaking, the narrator should be able to convey this. Not sure why the narrator changed, would have been preferable for the female narrator to continue throughout the whole book. I also found the great overuse of the "F" word thoughout the book completely unneccesary. I could see the point in the darker sides to the story but at the beginning and throughout most of the book, using bad language was not required. All in all I persevered to the end of this book but would not recommend unless you had nothing better to listen to.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful
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!
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
What disappointed you about Into the Darkest Corner?
The story jumped backwards and forwards. Was not sure whether I was more annoyed by the pathetic heroine or the author.
What could Elizabeth Haynes have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
Written in a straight line so that the reader had a chance to follow the plot. Make the heroine less " really annoying".
What character would you cut from Into the Darkest Corner?
The main characters - expected to hate him but after 5 chapters he had only been in the prologue. She I really hated very early on, her ACD was very annoying when read out. Think tap tap ad naseum.
Any additional comments?
Do not bother it does not convert well to an audio book.
14 of 18 people found this review helpful
I found it repetitive and boring. It wasn't suspenseful or twisted. Very predictable but unrelatable.
Rarely has a book ever made me so angry! At one stage, I almost experienced a murderous rage against one of the characters, wanting – needing – to see justice done. It says a lot about the author’s writing skills to be able to elicit such strong emotional responses in her readers. Whilst this is a slow-burning mystery, its tension relying more on the psychological states of mind of its characters rather than action, at times it was almost unbearable to follow their slow but inevitable fate as they walked head first into the abyss.
Catherine Bailey and Cathy Bailey may be one and the same woman, but they are like night and day. How can the carefree young Catherine have turned into a frightened, obsessive recluse, too afraid to get out of her house, and endlessly checking windows and doors to make sure they are secure? Don’t worry – you are about to find out. Told in a “now” and “then” format from the POV of Cathy as she reflects on her present life and her past, we get to follow her journey from first meeting the charismatic Lee to having to lock herself in her flat and fearing for her life. The experiences that turned Catherine into Cathy are as intense as they are terrifying – I listened to the audiobook, and some scenes left me shaking in horror as well as rage of the sheer “wrongness” of it all. Without giving anything away that has not already been mentioned in the blurb, Into the Darkest Corner is a tale of domestic abuse, psychological terror and of a relationship gone horribly wrong. The story is so well plotted that every time I questioned Catherine’s options, I realised just how limited they were, how omnipotent the evil that had taken over her life. I constantly asked myself: what would I do? And shuddered at the image of the dead-end corner Catherine had found herself in, with her back against the wall.
Into the Darkest Corner tells of one of the most chilling fictional relationships I have ever encountered in a psychological thriller, and it terrified me to the core. A brilliantly plotted, dark and sinister book that will stay with me for some time to come, and makes me want to check that my windows and doors are locked up tight. It would make for some brilliant bookclub discussions!
Credit must also go to Karen Cass, whose voice was perfect for narrating Cathy’s story – I loved listening to her and she gave life to all the characters in the book.
I was recommended this book on Laura Richards Real Crime Profile podcast and I couldn't put it down. It's so well written and gripping but is also very educational for what to look out for when it comes to coercive control and domestic abuse.