This is an edgy and powerful first novel, utterly convincing in its portrayal of obsession, and a tour de force of suspense.
Read first chapter
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.
Elizabeth Haynes is also the author of Revenge of the Tide and Human Remains.
Bleach House Library28 October 2013
To say this was nail biting is a complete understatement. I loved this book from the first page. It was brilliantly written and compelling from the first word. I hated finishing the book and am waiting for the next one.View source
newbooks14 February 2011
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.View source
Ce livre parle d'un sujet que beaucoup de femmes subissent, la violence conjugale, le harcèlement. Honnêtement, après avoir lu ce livre, je me suis mise à fermer ma porte d'entrée à double tour. Et quand un livre me fait cet effet-là, c'est qu'il est réussi ! Même si certaines scènes sont assez dures, le livre vaut vraiment qu'on s'y attarde ! Je le relirai sans hésitation.View source
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.
An honest book about domestic violence you must read... Haynes was inspired by her work as a police intelligence analyst to write the fictional account of Catherine, who falls for Lee. However, Lee’s jealous, controlling nature is soon revealed and the story explores how those experiencing domestic violence often feel they’re at fault.View source
Check the locks on your doors and windows and surrender to this obsessive thriller.View source
A chilling, page-turning read that charts domestic violence without flinching and portrays OCD with insight and compassion.
A powerful psychological drama and portrayal of obsession.
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... absolutely superb.View source
Amazon UK's book of the year, Haynes' claustrophobic psychological thriller is narrated by Catherine, an everywoman with whom readers can identify. A shocking portrayal of domestic abuse.
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.
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!
As a psychological thriller, it has all the fascination of a good horror film combined with the terror of a bad nightmare from which you are desperate to wake up: take your pick... Haynes hardly gives the reader time to draw breath before locking in her two parallel and equally nerve-racking narratives... I finished it like the final girl herself, panting. It would be, I concluded, a hard act to follow.View source
This beautifully dark and disturbing novel is, amazingly, the first book by Elizabeth Haynes. It is seamlessly put together and the clever juxtaposition of chapters from the present and the past keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. It's impossible to guess the ending of the book and the storyline digs deep into your psyche, teasing you and tempting you to check that your own doors and windows are locked and secure… I love this book. It has just the right mix of terror, paranoia and 'things that go bump in the night' to keep you looking over your own shoulder for your own past demons. Elizabeth Haynes is a very talented new face in the murky world of crime fiction and definitely a name to look out for in the future. Very highly recommended.
S J Watson
This intense, gripping account of domestic violence and its aftermath is utterly unputdownable. A stunning debut.
A tense and thought-provoking debut 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 debut novel by a police intelligence analyst is certainly well worth the read.View source
Amanda Ross, Creator of the Richard and Judy Book Club
Features one of the scariest villains I’ve ever encountered.View source
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. Haynes treats the subject matter of domestic violence delicately and with gentle self-assurance. And it’s this theme that makes the book so suited to book group discussion, with our group having a lively debate over how we would react in the same situation. ‘I never thought that simple words on a printed page could create such fear that I’d be checking under the bed every night.’ ‘Couldn’t put it down.’ ‘It’s curious how a book that deals with obsession, can itself leave the reader obsessed.’ But don’t just take our word for it, Haynes has been selected as one of Amazon’s Rising Stars for 2011, so hers is clearly a name to watch.View source
For Book’s Sake
Elizabeth Haynes’s CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger longlisted Into the Darkest Corner has been quite a success due to keen marketing and, more importantly, word of mouth. All this is richly deserved as Into the Darkest Corner is a psychological thriller packed with tension and suspense, and the author also bravely tackles some difficult issues in its themes: domestic violence and obsessive compulsive disorder. This is a debut of such strength you have to wonder if Haynes is the next Minette Walters. [She] has the spirit and the insight of Walters, making her one to watch. A superb debut.
A harrowing psychological thriller... This is a terrifying and convincing portrayal of an abusive relationship and a damaged woman’s heroic attempts to recover from it.
Domestic violence, OCD and murder in a book that exerts a nerve-shredding grip on the reader, with a sympathetic heroine and a truly loathsome baddie.
Away from the Fray
As the chapters alternate between the two narratives and the two completely different versions of Catherine, we gradually come to learn what turned the 2003 Catherine into the even-scared-of-her-own-shadow one of 2007. We also get an insight into the life of an abuse victim/survivor, and a chilling glimpse into what it means to be not just physically abused, but mentally/psychologically tortured as well. Into the Darkest Corner is a gripping read and an important and powerful book: I couldn’t put it down once I’d started it. It’s well written, and the author’s knowledge of the issues surrounding domestic violence shines through.
Not from Lapland
A couple of pages in and I couldn’t put this fast-paced, psychological thriller down. It covers some difficult topics – OCD, domestic violence and obsession – but it does so with the quiet finesse and well crafted plot of a writer that understands her topics well. I loved this book and would happily recommend it to my female friends both as a brilliant psychological thriller and an interesting window into the world of OCD and obsession.View source
A debut thriller that hit the ground running – gaining inclusions in last year’s TV Book Club, and in 2011 voted as Amazon Best Book of the Year, the winner of their Rising Star competition and also longlisted for the CEA John Creasey Dagger Award – not bad for a debut. But then such a scary and incredibly chilling novel of obsessive behaviour is going to hook any reader into one of those 'can’t put it down' reading marathons. If you’re not one of the thousands of readers who’ve been knocked sideways by this thriller then start here.View source
This psychological crime novel will grab your attention immediately, bend your perceptions gradually, and then twist you up in a jarring culmination of revenge and redemption.
Crime Scraps Review
A brilliant book...I literally could not put it down.View source
New York Journal of Books
Into the Darkest Corner deals uncompromisingly with difficult and bleak topics – OCD, domestic violence and obsession – but Elizabeth Haynes navigates these turbulent waters skillfully and sympathetically in this dark psychological thriller. She has given us a tour de force début novel that is both creepily disturbing and yet beautifully rendered.
The tension in the novel builds relentlessly to a stunning and frightening conclusion. Elizabeth Haynes has written an unforgettable story.
The Mystery Gazette
This is a great gripping psychological thriller that focuses on the crippling aspects of abuse. The prime players are fully developed with the changes from happy Catherine to crippled Cathy appallingly frightening. Fast-paced, this is a stunning scary suspense starring degrees of obsession.View source
Wicked Wonderful Words
Some books are unputdownable. Not many. A few. This one is one of them. It is an absolutely gripping story and from the very first page I was hooked and kept on reading to find out more.View source
Haynes is an accomplished thriller writer whose gift lies in retaining the suspense and intrigue of the story. I was in a sustained sense of genuine panic reading this, and at times it was a struggle to turn the page for fear of what was coming. I've rarely been so genuinely worried for a character’s safety.
A scorching read despite the unpleasantness of its domestic violence theme and the bad language. It just goes to show the author’s absolute control over the pacing of the novel... it had my heart rate pounding in places. As the tension grew, the pages turned of their own accord. All in all a very satisfying psychological thriller.
Peeking Between the Pages
Into the Darkest Corner is a very well done psychological thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. I listened to the audio version that is narrated by David Thorpe and Karen Cass who do an awesome job. This is a suspenseful story and their narration definitely added to my heart beating awfully fast more than once.View source
The Reading Experiment
If you’re looking for a book that will keep you up past bed time, read Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes. I raced through this book in one day. I couldn’t put it down.
You won't be able to put it down. I know I couldn't.
Compelling and disturbing... This book is disquieting, believable and has a realistic twist.
It had to be an exceptional book to break my book-blog-block and this is it: a nervy, heart-racing, page-turner — the debut thriller by Elizabeth Haynes. It’s a one-sitting, impossible-to-put-down kind of book.View source
The Littlereader Library
This is an absolutely fantastic, gripping first novel from Elizabeth Haynes! I just could not put this one down and had to know what would happen next. Utterly compelling from start to finish. I loved the narrative structure, with a short episode from the present, then one from the past, all delivered in the first person, with main character Cathy taking us through the terror that has invaded her life, and what it has reduced her to in the present day - a lonely, fearful woman with OCD, constantly checking the security of her home and limiting her life. It's a chilling portrayal of obsessive destructive love and it's after effects. Wonderfully written, with not a word too many, just perfectly described, nail-biting scenarios and psychological dread in Cathy's mind. The sense of fear and dread is tangible. Be careful reading this alone at night! Can't wait to read the next novel by this writer.