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.
About the Author
Elizabeth Haynes is a police intelligence analyst. She started writing fiction in 2006 thanks to the annual challenge of National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) and the encouragement of the creative writing courses at West Dean College. She lives in a village near Maidstone, Kent, with her husband and son. Her first novel, Into the Darkest Corner, was the winner of Amazon's Rising Stars and has been translated into 30 languages. Her second novel, Revenge of the Tide, was published in March 2012.
©2013 Elizabeth Haynes (P)2013 Audible Ltd
"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)
This audio book underlines how important the reader is and in this case the
reader lets it down completely by making one of the pivotal characters sound like an asinine chump.
I am not sure how good this book is as it was murdered by the reader. This book has many voices and for me, this reader seemed incapable of more than one. I googled the reader and discovered she is LAMDA trained which I find interesting. Maybe this book's delivery is not her fault, maybe its the director who is to blame but the flat unvaried delivery meant I found the book irritating and unlike me, unable to listen to the end.
In the beginning of the book I had some sympathy for Colin who first appears to be a man who is socially awkward and a bit out of step with the society in which he lives. However, as the book progresses and we continue to share his thoughts and motivation I came to realise that I was being treated to a look into the inside workings of a truly disturbed mind; a man who preys on severely depressed people. Far-fetched? No, having suffered depression myself in the past, I found it only too plausible. The narrator successfully finds different voices for the main characters and paces the reading well. If you like crime fiction then give this one a try - if you dare!
Elizabeth Haynes 'Into the darkest corner' is my best ever Audible listen, so it's a huge shame that this, her third novel, is practically unlistenable, wholly due to Karen Cass' appalling narration. This is a novel of many voices and in this narration they are all read by Karen Cass. The voice of Annabel is fine, however the other character's voices are laughable. The use of multiple narrators would work perfectly for this novel, so I'm not sure why this was not done. As I am unable to read at the moment I feel very angered that so often the books I long to read are being spoilt by such poor narration.
I was never sure whether this was supposed to be a thriller or a comic story, mainly due to the reader's representation of Colin's voice. I know it is not easy for a woman to do a male voice and vice versa but plenty other readers manage quite well. I am still not sure what the intention of the author was. And I am afraid I am unlikely to buy another book with main male characters read by Karen Cass
My first Elizabeth Haynes, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I found myself very curious about the characters, including the enigmatic Policeman..
Was left wanting more, so although the story was concluded, was there a whiff of more to come?
Like another reviewer, I feel this book is not enhanced by its narrator and I agree that at some moments I have wondered if it is meant to be a comedy or spoof. I am about half way through but I find it difficult to follow, and the change between voices (of the narrative) confusing because there is little change in the voice of the reader. I wondered if this book would be better read - but someone else seems to have tried that too and thought the audible version better. I may persevere just because I hate leaving books unfinished - even poor ones.
This book won a last minute extra star for the ending but up till then it was a great disappointment.
I was going to give it only 2 stars which I awarded for the authentic police background and for creating the criminal mind of Colin. No more because the book is dragged down by a totally inadequate narrator. Unfortunately the book is structured as a stream of consciousness from two main characters - male and female - and a string of minor characters. The narrator has only one voice for all the female voices and one, only slightly different voice, for all the male characters. To make things worse the author also appears to use identical phrasing and speech patterns for everyone regardless of age, background and gender. Maybe if I had read rather than listened to the book I would have enjoyed it more as I could have created different "voices" for myself. As it was only the dreadful weather outside meant that I kept picking it up again after vowing I just couldn't be bothered to carry on. The ending redeemed the book a little and so I have grudgingly given it 3 stars.
I had already bought this book at a reduced price in e-book form for my Amazon Kindle when I spotted it on the Audible website.
I tend to buy biographies and autobiographies and other nonfiction on Audible but with my monthly credit I have sometimes bought the more expensive fiction - especially when there is three books making up a trilogy by buying one book a month with my credits.
This then is not as expensive as some fictional audio books I have bought.
I don't want to spoil the plot of this book for other readers so not too much here about the story's plot.
The narrator (female) takes the parts of both male and female characters.
The main character is a female crime analyst working with percentages more than criminals or people. She notices a rise in the number bodies being found usually in domestic circumstances where there is no crime suspected. She informs her superiors but no one seems to realise what she is saying. The deceased are not all elderly people.
One night she goes home and her cat decides it wants to go out. It does not come back right away and as she wants to go to bed she goes out to find it. She follows it into the garden next door and notices flies on the window. She knocks on the glass of the door and somehow the glass breaks. She goes in the house and discovers a body. The lady neighbour seems to have sat in her chair and died.
Our narrator goes on to become in their turn, civilian colleagues, police colleagues, friends and acquaintances and others.
These people of course converse with each other too which is where the audio aspect of the book aided my enjoyment of the mystery as it is not always the main character who is speaking.
The person responsible is an acquaintance of an acquaintance who is befriending the lonely and the depressed.
I am going to stop here as I don't want to reveal any more to spoil the story for others.
This book is definitely not for young teens or those of a very squeamish nature and I have to say that I enjoyed it.
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