Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
Narrated by: Karen Cass and David Thorpe
Publisher: Audible Studios
Length: 14 Hours 1 Minute
Audiobook Publication date: February 22nd 2012
My rating: 4.5 stars 


Catherine Bailey has been enjoying the single life long enough to know a catch when she sees one. Gorgeous, charismatic and spontaneous, Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. And her friends clearly agree, as each in turn falls under his spell.

But what begins as flattering attentiveness and passionate sex turns into raging jealousy, and Catherine soon learns there is a darker side to Lee. His increasingly erratic, controlling behaviour becomes frightening, but no one believes her when she shares her fears. Increasingly isolated and driven into the darkest corner of her world, a desperate Catherine plans a meticulous escape.

Four years later, Lee is behind bars and Catherine—now Cathy—compulsively checks the locks and doors in her apartment, trusting no one. But when an attractive upstairs neighbour, Stuart, comes into her life, Cathy dares to hope that happiness and love may still be possible . . . until she receives a phone call informing her of Lee’s impending release. Soon after, Cathy thinks she catches a glimpse of the former best friend who testified against her in the trial; she begins to return home to find objects subtly rearranged in her apartment, one of Lee’s old tricks. Convinced she is back in her former lover’s sights, Cathy prepares to wrestle with the demons of her past for the last time.

Utterly convincing in its portrayal of obsession, Into the Darkest corner is an ingeniously structured and plotted tour de force of suspense that marks the arrival of a major new talent.

My Thoughts:
Into the Darkest Corner was suspenseful, riveting, and disturbing. The story is unsettling because of how realistic it was. I’m sure something of what happened to Cathy has probably happened or is happening as I write this review. Four years ago Cathy fell for Lee who is equal parts good looking, intense, and charming. From that point on her life slowly turns into hell.

We meet Cathy in the present, four years after her time with Lee.  She’s basically a mess with severe obsessive compulsive disorder stemming from a trauma we have yet to discover.  Cathy adheres to a strict routine of going to work and coming home with much of her free time spent checking and re-checking her apartment for breaches in security.  Alternating chapters take us back to the past, four years ago and we slowly witness the events that brought Cathy to this point in her life. The tension mounts both in the present and in the past as the chapters tick on by.

Lee exacts psychological terrors on Cathy as well as physical, making her a wreck little by little. This situation is a little like a frog in a pot of cold water, staying there as the temperature rises and rises until he’s fully cooked. He doesn’t get out while he can, instead the gradual process of the water heating hides the fact he’s in real danger. In this way, Lee gradually terrorized Cathy in subtle ways so that she wasn’t even sure some of the things he did were inappropriate. Well practiced charm and impressive looks were on his side, fooling Cathy’s friends to the point that they didn’t/couldn’t believe that he was anything but a knight in shining armor.  In fact her friends were green with envy over her snagging such a catch.  It was horrifying! I have to wonder if they were just complete crap friends or was Lee just that good at his manipulations? My heart broke for Cathy (in the past) as her situation became more desperate and inescapable.  Lee was terrifying, with swift and surprising mood changes.  One minute he was in love and the next…well, I won’t say.  There was no doubt from the beginning that he was seriously dangerous.

Through all of this I knew the reign of terror did come to an end at some point, because Cathy’s no longer with Lee.  However, there’s an ominous feeling to the present, and I bit my nails in anxious anticipation and fear at the possibility that Lee has found Cathy again.  At least this time, though, Cathy has an ally, a neighbor who’s just moved to the apartment above her, Stuart.  In spite of Cathy’s apprehension, they form a friendship that slowly turns into more. Their romance was gradual, but lovely!

While Cathy went through a complete nightmare, the chapters in the present fill you with hope that she can be happy once again.  Stuart is a big in helping Cathy move on and I don’t think there was a more perfect person out there for her. I admired Cathy as she tackled her fear and tried to live again. 

This was one of those gripping reads where it’s painful to put it down. I was glued to my audio-book throughout a weekend, gasping at times in horror. The narration was excellent.  Although most of it is from Karen Cass with her lovely English accent we do have David Thorpe’s wonderful performance as well (also an English accent).   I have to thank the lovely Keertana for putting Into the Darkest Corner on my radar because I thoroughly enjoyed the thrilling ride!


  1. Love that cover and glad its on my radar now, I am intrigued by the premise

  2. This sounds like an intense story. I enjoy psychological thrillers and this one sounds like it's so well-written. I was already stressed out for Cathy while I was reading your review. Now I really want to know what Lee did to her.
    Great review, Rachel!

  3. Sounds so creepy but so good. Stalking/obsession is one of those things that really freaks me out, especially since it's something that seems quite prevalent in society these days. Intriguing review!

  4. These type of reads are always so addictive and unsettling. I am curious to read this one now.

  5. I do believe it was Keertana's review that also put this book on my radar. When I came across your review, I wasn't exactly sure where I remembered the book from but then I began reading your review and there was a click. GAH. I am so terrified of this book but at the same time, I want to read it.

    It touches on such an important subject and if your guys' reviews are anything to go by, it handles it very well, not letting readers forget the seriousness of the issue (which is so important!), I can already imagine how emotional this book will be and the fact that you know what happened, are shown this gradual progression that occurred in the past, just makes it all the more terrifying.

    I am so so glad to see you loved this one, Rachel and hopefully, when/if I read it, I will love it just as much!

    Gorgeous review! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

  6. Oh wow, this does sound fascinating! I'm glad you gave it a shot and really liked it. I'm fascinated by these thrillers, especially when they deal with the psychological.

  7. You had me at "disturbing", Rachel. I've never heard of this book before, but it does sound interesting. Plus the fact that you've realy liked it helps a lot. Nice review!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  8. What an exciting book this is! I just love how it made you feel so nervous and gasp at the right times. Making you feel like that is what makes a thriller a thriller. Added it to my TBR! :D

    Faye at The Social Potato

  9. Ohh, this book is all kinds of awesome looking :D And gorgeous cover too. <3 Amazing review Rachel. So happy that you mostly loved this book a whole lot :) I think I must check it out more. Thank you for sharing. <3

  10. I'm freaked out already! The beginning sounds a little bit like how Conspiracy Girl starts, with the heroine trying to cope after a huge trauma. Though this one sounds much more intense. I'm sure you're right that this happens frequently, as terrible as it is, and I'm happy to see that Cathy gets out of it. I'm also excited about her budding relationship with Stuart. Is this YA?

    1. No, it's an adult read, Lauren. And it's very intense. There are some difficult portions because of the horrid, unbelievable things Lee did to Cathy. A couple of scenes were graphic because of that, but thankfully short lived. Yes, I was thankful Cathy got out of it, too!

  11. Oh, this reminds me on one movie I watched, but can't remember its name. The book got me scared just from reading your review, lol, but it definitely sounds intriguing. Terrific review, Rachel!

  12. Oh, I do NOT like Lee. *cues creepy stalker music* Poor Cathy! This read definitely sounds intense.

  13. Into The Darkest Corner is Elizabeth Haynes debut novel. It was Amazon UK's Best Book Of The Year. Haynes is a police intelligence analyst, and her work allows her to chart the progression of this terror with heart stopping details. The book is compelling and almost impossible to put down; the reader needs to determine what will happen to Cathy. This book is recommended for thriller readers.

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