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Into the Darkest Corner Audio Download – Unabridged

4.6 out of 5 stars 2,061 customer reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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 would whole-heartedly agree, but what makes this special is that we know from the outset that Lee is a bad 'un, that no good will come of Catherine's relationship with him, yet Haynes still manages to build almost unbearable tension as Catherine slips from good-time, confident girl to security obsessed, gibbering wreck and back again thanks to the love and concern of neighbour Stuart. Or does she?
The ambiguity of the ending was another thing I loved about this book. Just like the characters it felt real and all too believable. I've heard it said that many crime novels tie things up nicely at the end. That the bad get their just desserts and the good live happily ever after. And it is this deviation from the real world that lends them much of their appeal. With its first person, chatty narration, Into the Darkest Corner flows well and is easy to read. But it is not a comfortable read,and nor should it be. Prepare to be gripped, appalled and stunned. This is a fabulous début. Elizabeth Haynes has a crime convert in this reader. I look forward to her next.
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Format: Paperback
Having felt a bit confused by the first three apparently unconnected changes in time, (over the first three or four pages) I suddenly realised how the time-shifts functioned and from then on I was utterly gripped by this wonderful thriller. I basically devoured it in two days, and then went back to read it a second time straight away, able now to take it more slowly and enjoy the crafting of the narrative, which is beautifully put together, and very clever.

I don't want to risk any spoilers, so won't talk about plot at all. You just need to read it. But be warned - at times this is a seriously scary book - if you read it late at night, do check the locks on the doors and windows before you settle down.
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By O E J TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 April 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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 - especially with regard to the suspense element because for me there was very little of it. In fact, it was all rather predictable.

It was interesting though, at least at first, because it quite intimately tackles the trauma one particular woman faces in the aftermath of a period of violent domestic abuse and controlling behaviour that culminates in an arrest, narrated in the first-person in a slightly unusual way by flicking backwards and forwards in time to portray events leading up to and the weeks and months after the end of a relationship that starts in high passion but ends in utter misery.

The examinations of obsessive compulsive disorder are interesting but after a while - and the behaviour spans the entire length of the novel - it does become rather tedious. It eventually becomes clear that the OCD and the woman's fear of being stalked and invaded are pretty much what most of this story is about. There's not enough variety, no sub-strands or multi-layering, and the number of prominent characters is very low. There are frequent episodes of modestly explicit sex but these are necessarily graphic because of their relevance to the central theme of abuse.
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Format: Paperback
The book opens with in May 2005, with a transcript of a scene set in Lancaster Crown Court. Lee Brightman is giving evidence against Catherine who he says had some emotional problems and was violent towards him. He confesses he did hit her, once in `self defence'. At once we have a sense of how their relationship ended. The author then cleverly weaves Catherine's story between two timeframes: her time with Brightman in 2003/4 and later in 2007/8.

Catherine, pre Lee, is vivacious and outgoing and anything but a victim and her descent into a life abuse and isolation is shocking and so believable. She is reduced to a lonely, terrified woman with OCD and PTS, constantly in thrall to her checking the security of her home and restricting her life. As a reader you engage with Catherine right from the beginning as she talks about her compulsive need to check the locks on the door to her flat over and over again whilst acknowledging how ridiculous it is.

Gritty, tense, compulsive reading, you actually can feel your anxiety grow as you read certain passages and you have no idea how this will end. The pacing is superb with the author slowly building a feeling of unease, tension and suspense until you are almost as wound up as Catherine.

This is an edgy and powerful first novel, utterly convincing in its portrayal of obsession, and a tour de force of suspense.

One of my books of the year
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