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Into the Darkest Corner

Narrated by: David Thorpe, Karen Cass
Length: 13 hrs and 58 mins
4 out of 5 stars (886 ratings)
Regular price: £18.99
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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

Critic reviews

"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 ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Negative comments not merited, I loved it!

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!

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping

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.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another cracker from Elizabeth Haynes

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.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

well im enjoying it!!

Is there anything you would change about this book?

no

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?

no

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.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Utterly Compelling listening

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!
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.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

into the darkest corner

Brilliant story, full of unexpected trwists. Being a victim! Of domestic abuse and violence myself, I can completely relate to Cathy of he she feels and her reactions. Very good book well worth reading .

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.....

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Meanders all over the place

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.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Betty
  • 05-06-12

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.

45 of 46 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • karen
  • 06-01-13

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.

48 of 50 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Janice
  • 14-06-12

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.

42 of 47 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Pamela Harvey
  • 02-06-12

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.

61 of 73 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marilyn
  • 02-07-12

Very suspenseful! Wonderful narrator!

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!

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Delah
  • 15-04-12

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.

27 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • R. Pontiflet
  • 06-10-15

OCD and Domestic Violence...

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!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rhonda
  • 05-06-12

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.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wendi
  • 10-11-13

Gripping Psychological Thriller

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.

5 stars

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • AudioAddict
  • 23-04-13

Interesting and Suspenseful

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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