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408 of 420 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and delicious
As a rule I don't read crime or thrillers. It's not that I haven't enjoyed some (I have) it's simply that there's so much out there and only so much time. And I tend to be drawn to other genres.
However, I heard about this début on Twitter and I had to give it a go. I am SO glad that I did. It's fantastic. Many readers have said what a page turner it is, and I...
Published on 7 Mar 2011 by Laura Wilkinson

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148 of 163 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Everyone seems to love it. I didn't.
This is the first novel by Elizabeth Haynes, and it's one that I can imagine some people will like a lot, others will struggle to finish, and yet others will just think 'meh'. The promotional blurb declares "This is an edgy and powerful first novel, utterly convincing in its portrayal of obsession, and a tour de force of suspense", but this is only partly true -...
Published on 10 April 2011 by OEJ


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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what a way to start a career, 14 Feb 2011
A compulsive read about obsession and compulsion. The double time frame presented the story in an utterly convincing manner. I really cared about Catherine even when not reading the book. A sure sign of a good novel.
Next book please - as soon as possible!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard going, 30 Nov 2011
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This book started so well. You could feel the tension in the main character's life following a traumatic relationship. And flipping alternate chapters to cover the relationship and the aftermath was just up my street. I couldn't put it down. Now for the but ... I dragged on for far too long. On reaching the three-quarter point, I was desperate to get to the end. The constant checking became monotonous - yes I know it was to convey the inner turmoil Catherine was suffering but less is [often] more. I became bored! And I have to agree with another reviewer - it pushed the boundaries of believability that someone showing all the signs of a psychiatrically challenged woman would attract anyone - let alone a Psychologist! He'd run a mile rather than bring his work home!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes, 8 Feb 2012
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This is a thriller dealing with domestic violence, OCD and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is about a young woman called Catherine who has a successful career, lively social life and a great group of friends. Then she meets Lee working on the door of a nightclub and they begin a passionate relationship. Before long Lee begins to control Catherine and becomes violent whilst she becomes confused, scared and a shadow of her former self. Eventually Lee imprisons Catherine and causes such bad injuries that he is finally convicted of assaulting her and goes to prison. This storyline runs alongside Catherine's after-story where she is Cathy and utterly terrified of Lee finding her again. She has developed an extreme form of OCD where she cannot function without checking and re-checking the doors and windows of her flat for signs of an intruder. Cathy lives in fear of the day Lee is released from prison and comes after her.

I enjoyed the book but not as much as everyone else it seems. This is Haynes's first novel and it is fantastic that she is enjoying so much success but I found some aspects wanting. I felt some fundamental decisions were made to make the plot easier to construct. With domestic violence, those of us fortunate enough not to have experience of it would ask what about Catherine's family and friends, surely they would look out for her? Why doesn't she go to the police? The author has dealt with this by making Catherine an only child whose parents were killed in a car crash. How unlucky? And Lee is a police officer so she can't report him without him knowing. But is this being lazy or is this actually very clever? As one reviewer pointed out, these violent men often target vulnerable women. Perhaps if Catherine had parents to get involved and an army of big brothers Lee would have quickly lost interest and moved onto someone else. I did feel it went one step too far with Catherine's friends, I'm sure a close group of girls would have believed Catherine over Lee or at least given her the benefit of the doubt.

During the course of the novel Cathy begins to receive treatment for her OCD. Coincidentally a clinical psychologist moves into the flat upstairs, the oh-so-perfect Stuart. I actually found the Cathy-Stuart relationship rather dull. She was totally self-absorbed and I couldn't really see Stuart being attracted to her although I understood his desire to help on a professional level. There were a couple of tense moments in the novel but nothing like the build-up of suspense that I was anticipating. I felt that as the threat of Lee increased, Cathy got stronger too. She was a complete wreck whilst he was safely locked up in prison but when it became clear that he had found her and had been in her flat she took it rather well.

So I quite liked this one but I think it is somewhat overrated. It reminded me of Nicci French's novels, which is not a bad thing, but it didn't stand out as anything special.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping!!, 20 Jan 2012
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Great book - thanks to previous reviewers whose comments lead me to purchase this gripping book. It was edge-of-the-seat stuff wondering what was going to happen next. Good Q&A with author at the end was very interesting. Would certainly buy any more books by Elizabeth Haynes.

Wish there was something on Amazon that you could put a prompt on for them to tell you when an author has another book available - maybe there is and I just don't know about it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable, full of suspense and realism, 18 Sep 2011
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Paul Hopkins (Tonna Wales) - See all my reviews
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This book deals with the sometimes sensetive subject of domestic violence and its affect on women. It is a really well crafted suspense thriller that makes you want to keep reading even though it may be a little uncomfortable from a male perspective. i would recommend this book to anyone, male or female, who likes a good page turner. Buy it, I dare you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced and chilling, with a realistic twist, 20 Mar 2011
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If you have ever wondered how an independent, fun loving woman ends up in a violent relationship read this book.

Catherine's voice is engaging from the start as she talks about her need to repeatedly check the locks on the entrance doors to her flat whilst also acknowledging the ridiculousness of her situation.

'I checked the flat several times, each time getting it slightly wrong. the more times I did it, the more tired I was getting. Sometimes I get stuck like this. Eventually I physically can't check any more.
'And a small, small voice of reason at the back of my head, trying to be heard above the cacophony of self-reproach, was screaming this is not normal. '

These detailed descriptions of Catherine's routines build up the tension as she slowly reveals why she is so obsessed with checking the locks. The author uses two different time frames to highlight how much Catherine has changed. The Catherine in 2003 is a very different woman to the frightened one in 2007.

The 2003 chapters detail how Catherine first met her abuser. Their relationship quickly becomes intense over a period of days as he constantly tests Catherine's boundaries, to see how much she will accept. It's easy to understand as an observer how Catherine, blinded by lust (love?), misses the warning signs.

As the mind games continue Catherine finds herself in the position of being manipulatative. This is not uncommon when a woman starts to develop low self-esteem in an unhealthy relationship. There's a scene when she puts on a red dress to get his attention, and it succeeds, but she is left feeling used and thinks 'this is crazy. What am I doing?'

This psychological thriller is fast paced and chilling, with a realistic twist. The impact of OCD and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on victims of abuse is sensitively handled and believable. Lock all your doors and settle down for one of the most gripping reads of the year!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense and very frightening, 4 July 2011
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
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I found this book utterly compelling and literally impossible to put down. The plot has already been discussed here so I won't re-hash that. Suffice it to say that this is a dark, convincing and terrifying account of how Catherine, a young, bright, girl-about-town is transformed into Cathy, self-effacing, crippled by OCD, and barely holding her life together.

The narrative unfolds in two parallel strands: Catherine's past, and Cathy's present - a format I usually find irritating, but it worked perfectly here.

Admittedly, there are some awkward coincidences: her new neighbour's profession, being spotted in London from a bus, the job advert - and a few points that don't really make sense (if you were in fear of your life wouldn't you change your name?), but the sweeping strength of the narrative enabled me to forgive them.

Be warned, this is very dark and disturbing, but also frighteningly plausible. The build up of fear is superb, and the menace is always hovering just out of sight. At the same time, this is an intelligent book with an awareness of sexual and gender politics, and has more important things to say than the average throw-away psychological thriller.

If you loved the early Nicci French books like Killing Me Softly this is probably an excellent choice. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most powerful book I have ever read, 6 May 2012
Denial and the need for control are the easiest ways to deal with a trauma. But the least effective. This book, completely unexpectedly, brought forward a lot of my past demons. And I thank Elizabeth for that. Bizarrely.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow !, 7 Mar 2012
This review is from: Into the Darkest Corner (Kindle Edition)
OMG - this is without a doubt one of the best books I have ever read. I am reading it on my Kindle so I don't know how many pages I have left but I'm at 93% so I know there is not much left to go and I don't want it to finish - I could just keep on readng it forever. I can't wait to read the next book by Elizbeth Haynes
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves all the five stars, 14 Dec 2011
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I apologise to those sufferers, but the detailed accounts of OCD were quite irritating at first and I found myself wondering why the book had received such plaudits. However, I soon forget about the constant checking as the plot started to evolve and I found myself absolutely riveted. The two stories running in tandem works well, as the present day drama somehow offsets the horror of the character's earlier days.

I really hope that this book climbs up the charts through word-of-mouth. It would make a great film and is far more chilling than 'Before I go to sleep' which The Sunday Times rated as thriller of 2011.
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Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
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