Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Into the Darkest Corner

Rate this book
This is an edgy and powerful first novel, utterly convincing in its portrayal of obsession, and a tour de force of suspense. 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, Human Remains, Never Alone and The Murder of Harriet Monckton.

395 pages, Paperback

First published February 13, 2007

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Elizabeth Haynes

21 books1,933 followers
Elizabeth Haynes grew up in Seaford, Sussex and studied English, German and Art History at Leicester University.

She previously worked as a police intelligence analyst and lives in Norfolk with her husband and son.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
25,425 (37%)
4 stars
26,810 (39%)
3 stars
11,094 (16%)
2 stars
2,676 (3%)
1 star
1,251 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,170 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,921 reviews290k followers
July 5, 2014
Perhaps the most horrifying thing about Into the Darkest Corner is how much it reminds me of what people are calling "intense" and "dark" New Adult romances. No exaggeration.

This book is a dark, psychological thriller that chronicles the tale of a relationship between the young Catherine Bailey and a handsome, charismatic man called Lee who slowly, gradually, turns into a monster. It's a disturbing story that doesn't skimp on violent details, which might make it something you'd want to avoid if you are particularly sensitive to scenes of domestic abuse and rape.

Haynes offers up one of the most effective uses of alternating past/present narratives that I've ever read. It's so... unsettling to see the character of Catherine as she was before and as she is now - it at first seems like you're reading the POVs of two different characters. But not only that, it's the development of Lee himself that is even worse.

Lee is presented as everything a young woman could want: good-looking, sexy, sweet, romantic and great in bed. The readers themselves might find they are falling slightly in love with him... and yet, bit by bit, he starts to change. His sweet protectiveness becomes controlling and possessive. His attentiveness turns to stalking. Soon Catherine doesn't know how to escape and she's too afraid to try.

I think it's the contrast between the now and then of the story that makes Into the Darkest Corner so powerful. I've read other books about domestic violence and abusive boyfriends, but none seem to have captured the complete shift in personality of the abuser quite like this one does. It's refreshing - though I cringe that I can say that - to see a controlling relationship and stalkery portrayed as something negative, not as symbolic of the deep, never-ending love the stalker feels.

And it is really creepy at times. The present part of the story is set after Catherine has escaped and Lee has been charged - but he has also just been released from prison. Afraid of her own shadow and caught up in her OCD, Catherine must try to continue with her life whilst knowing that Lee is out there somewhere. She wakes up every single day and wonders if he's found her... and so did I. It's an edge-of-your-seat kind of book and Haynes builds some fantastic tension.

Highly recommended.

Blog | Leafmarks | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr
Profile Image for La-Lionne.
482 reviews777 followers
October 20, 2013
Holy freaking bubble wrappers!

Wow, just wow. I stayed up late last night reading this book, had a nightmare (as I thought I would, I think I even heard my self screaming or crying, right before I woke up. I'm not sure) and resumed reading it before I ate my breakfast.

I felt like I was developing OCD while I was reading it. I kid you not, I checked twice if my door was locked and made sure my bedroom window was closed, before I went to sleep.

What a story. It sounded so realistic, it reminded me of an episode of Dr. Phil, that I saw few years back, with a woman telling a similar story :-S.
It felt like it was written from two diferent persons p.o.v. The one before, that was young as silly, doing stupid stuff, going out with friends and having fun. Nothing special, just average girl, living her life, working and having fun with her friends, meating a guy... And the one after, paranoid and scared out of her mind, seeing his face in every person that passed by her.

In the beginning of the book you know that something happened, something that made her completely different person, but you don't know how exactely and why. As the story progressed, I started doubting if the things she was saying was true. Could it be that everything was just in her head? I know she told that it happened, but how come her friends had a different explanation, that sounded more logical than hers?
I was going back and forward. One moment I believed her side of the story, and the next, I thought she was a total mental case, counting every single step up to her flat and checking things six times. I felt sorry for the Stuart.

- Warning, there might be some spoilers -

There was a point in the book, where it reminded me a little of the Consequences. And I thought that if I ever had to choose who to be raped by, Lee or Tony, it would have to be Tony from the Consequences and I would thank my lucky stars that he was even an option to choose from, one of the two evils. That's how evil I think Lee was.

- End of spoilers -

The ending was brilliant. I couldn't quite figure it out if it was a cliffhanger and there will be a sequel coming up or if it was just authors last attempt to screw with my mind. The ending left me wondering "What's next?". I realize that everything that needed to be told, was told. But the way the book ended still left me feeling like I read just half of the story...

Amazing! It was better than I expected.
Profile Image for Michelle .
846 reviews1,181 followers
August 27, 2018
This book is rated highly by many of my Goodreads friends so I immediately put it on hold through C/W Mars and forgot all about it until I got that wonderful email telling me it was ready for me to download. Hurray! My turn finally.

Cathy meets the handsome and charming Lee and the two become instantly attracted to one another. One thing leads to another until they are both completely consumed with their intense relationship. While the relationship starts off simply enough as time goes by Cathy starts to become afraid of Lee and his erratic temper. Constantly walking on egg shells things only go from bad to worse.

Four years later and Cathy, now Catherine, lives a quiet life of solitude in London. She suffers anxiety and panic attacks from PTSD as well as OCD. She throws everything she has into her work and spends her evenings and weekends alone and locked away in her flat rarely leaving unless absolutely necessary.

Lee has been in prison since he violently attacked her but now he's been released and her nightmare soon begins again.

I'll admit that this book definitely had it's creepy elements. Elizabeth Haynes certainly doesn't hold back in the violence. Some scenes were deliciously disturbing which I appreciated so much.

This was a decent psychological thriller but if I'm being honest this is a story I've read many times before and while this was well written where was the editor? 600 pages for a psychological thriller is rather ambitious in my opinion.

Panic attacks, breathing exercises, fainting - rinse & repeat for countless pages. It got to be a bit tedious and I skimmed entire chapters of the exact same thing over and over again.

The more of this genre I read the harder it becomes to impress me. If this book had been 300 pages it likely would of got at least 4 or maybe even 5 stars from me but at this length and with the amount of skimming I did 3 stars it is!
Profile Image for Kenzie.
Author 16 books98 followers
December 22, 2012
(spoilers ahead)

This novel of "suspense" has gotten rave reviews all across the web, and I cannot for the life of me figure out why. It's such a Hollywood-derivative piece, a Sleeping With the Enemy Part Deux. The protagonist, Cathy, is a walking cliche of a victim of domestic violence, all beautifully wan and glamour-girly, and nothing about her is worth rooting for. She's unsympathetic and dreadfully dull (she spends the majority of her pre-abuse time partying and flirting and nothing else, really -- she's about as interesting as a pretty block of cheese). The abuser is a character lifted from Law and Order: SVU, a moody, sexy, macho type with a perverted streak. Oh, and he's in undercover law enforcement -- another cliche -- so that the "heroine" conveniently finds herself unable to escape.

The secondary characters are also unbelievably drawn. There are the protagonist's so-called friends who are so charmed by the handsome sociopath that they would not believe their FRIEND at all (what kind of friends are these exactly? shallow?). Then there's Stuart, the new love interest, and (another convenient setup) a psychologist, who also doesn't seem to believe Cathy's fears, excusing them as a part of her OCD behavior. The only character who sides with Cathy, genuinely so, is a policewoman who doesn't appear until nearly the END of the novel. (Yet another rushed convenience. Almost a Deus ex Machina of a way out for our poor, OCD & PTSD-suffering heroine).

I was primarily disappointed with the novel because the author is, supposedly, a police intelligence analyst. One would think she'd have an idea how to recreate a believable novel about domestic abuse rather than a Lifetime Movie of the week wannabe.
Profile Image for Jennifer Masterson.
200 reviews1,103 followers
October 16, 2014
I'm so glad I read this book. It got me out of a book rut! Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes is a great psychological thriller about an abusive relationship that occurred in the past. The main character, Catherine Bailey, tries to overcome her trauma in the present while still dealing with the scary fact that her ex-boyfriend, Lee, who almost killed her is still very much alive. I really enjoyed reading about her struggle to overcome the PTSD and OCD that was triggered by this this horrible man. She was a great character that I was able to sympathize with. This book had me hooked from the very beginning. Highly recommended except for the faint of heart (a lot of graphic language, violence and sex).
Profile Image for Maria Espadinha.
1,002 reviews351 followers
April 5, 2019
Violência Doméstica - Um Flagelo Intemporal

Sempre que damos de caras com notícias sobre mulheres que foram de alguma forma violentadas pelos respectivos "life partners" é perfeitamente admissível que na nossa mente ecoe uma questão muito simples:

Como Aconteceu?

Tratando-se na sua maioria de casos em que os envolvidos se relacionaram de comum acordo, perguntamo-nos como raio sucederam essas versões reais da fábula do Capuchinho Vermelho devorado (subentenda-se violentado) pelo Lobo Mau!...

Elizabeth Haynes desempenhou no passado, o cargo de Analista na Polícia. Aí, teve oportunidade de lidar com casos autênticos de violência doméstica que inspiraram esta obra, conferindo-lhe realismo. Por conseguinte, esta narrativa irá:

Esfrangalhar-nos os Nervos

Contudo não deixará de providenciar respostas satisfatórias a questões pertinentes e eventuais dúvidas! Tal proeza deve-se a um "Como Tudo Começou" brilhantemente urdido:

Uma Catherine estouvada e divertida cruza-se com um Lee carismático e sedutor, e o Clique acontece - a atracção é mútua e...


ambos se envolvem numa paixão marcadamente física que rapidamente culmina num pico, rolando ravina abaixo rumo ao


E tal como a Noite se sucede ao Dia, aquela Catherine alegre e jovial sucumbe, sendo substituída por uma Cathy Negra, envolta numa aura de traumas e medos paralisantes.

Porém, como regra geral, toda a descida é uma potencial subida, Cathy lá encontra algures a corda libertadora!...

As entrelinhas desta estória albergam um Alerta gritante:

C-U-I-D-A-D-O com as Paixões Físicas.

Atingem rapidamente um ponto de rotura, dando lugar a um Vazio que tende a ser preenchido por um frente a frente de desconhecidos.

E...qualquer Mergulho no Desconhecido comporta um certo grau de risco - o que inicialmente aparenta ser belo e fascinante pode eventualmente vir a revelar-se como perigosamente destrutivo!

Para além do que foi dito,"No Canto Mais Escuro" pinta-nos um Diabo Sedutor deveras credível - um estereótipo que há por aí e convém saber identificar, não vá surgir-nos algum pela frente, pois nunca se sabe o que a sorte (subentenda-se azar) tenciona reservar-nos 😉
Profile Image for Brandi.
633 reviews1,277 followers
January 18, 2015

When Catherine Bailey meets the charismatic and handsome Lee, she just knows she's found a winner. But she soon discovers a darker side to Lee. He is controlling, obsessive and constantly playing little mind games. Catherine finds herself growing more and more afraid of him, so with no other options, she plans her escape. Lee, my friends is batshit crazy.


Now 4 years later, Cathy is living in a new town, with a new job, but she is still haunted by Lee and his brutal attacks. She has isolated herself and spends hours a day compulsively checking over her home.

Checking the front door
Checking the windows and curtains
Checking the flat door
Checking the kitchen drawer

With the help of her new neighbor, Stuart, she begins taking steps to overcome her fears. Finally Cathy has hope again, she is feeling better and her friendship with Stuart seems to be growing into something more. Until she gets a phone that changes everything. Lee is being release from jail.

He was going to come for me, it was only a question of time.

Overall, this was a great suspenseful, thriller. Catherine's story is told through past and present POVs. Most of the story felt like an authentic portrayal of obsession and domestic abuse. One of my only grips is the length, the first 50% could have been condensed, but all and all I enjoyed this one.
February 19, 2017
I read Into The Darkest Corner on a recommendation from my sister Norma. I am not sure if this would have been one I would've chosen for myself. I am really glad I took Norma's recommendation and read this one.

I found The Darkest Corner to be a dark, disturbing, and interesting book.

The story is told in alternating chapters switching timelines with the before when once lively, fun loving and party girl Catherine meets handsome, charming and mysterious Lee and we follow their relationship as it declines into violence and the after, where we see Catherine is now struggling with OCD and PTSD giving us a good sense of the burdens of both. That made this an interesting read for me. The contrast between the two timelines is cleverly pulled together leaving me feeling very satisfied with the ending.

I recommend to anyone who loves a good psychological thriller but with caution as there is some violence.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,099 reviews44.1k followers
August 12, 2018
I met Elizabeth Haynes at a book talk a couple of years ago now and she seemed liked a really nice person. She was so friendly and signed my copy of this book. It contrast her novel is not nice. It’s anything but. It’s dark and gripping, and it’s about a very fucked up man.

This is not the sort of thing that I usually go for, psychological thrillers usually bore the hell out of me because they try too hard to be clever and turn the plot into a labyrinth. Haynes keeps it simple, and simple works really well here.

She splits the novel into two perspectives four years apart, a before and after if you like. They are told side by side and it took me a while to realise that they were both the same character. And that’s the greatest strength of the novel, the radical shift in personality, confidence and voice the protagonist (Catherine) undergoes after her traumatic ordeal. She is completely ruined and has to work so hard to pick herself up and carry on with her life. Simple tasks like socialising and locking her front door become dominated by anxiety and paranoia. She has an obsessive security check routine she has to carry out every time she leaves the house. And in terms of creating a character with a real life mental disorder, this was done fantastically well.

Let’s rewind a bit. How does she get there?

“This isn't normal. This isn't how normal people think. Fuck off, world- what the hell is normal anyway?”

She met (seemingly) mister right and he rocked her world, though beneath his false display of confidence and stability was something sinister. He’s a damaged little man and an angry one, angry at the world and the one who broke his heart many years before (or so he says). As such, he is ridiculously possessive, violent and completely toxic. Though before his true personality began to surface, Catherine fell in love with his more charming aspects. He seduced her, and she was putty in his strong hands. He appeared to be the perfect man, but appearances are always deceptive.

The thing that really drove the story forward for me was my eagerness to see exactly what caused the destruction of Catherine, turning her into a shadow of herself. And the shift was believable and cleverly written. I can understand why her steps were haunted by this man who claimed to love her but almost broke her in two, and when he finally got out of prison the novel became quite intense. I read it all rather quickly, though I think it would have been better if Catherine was a more compelling character to begin with. She had a rather flat personality before she was chained up in a basement and as such all the quirkiness was only born because of torment. Sounds a bit mean, though really she didn’t have much going for her.

So this was a decent read, and I enjoyed something a bit different to my usual fare though I am in no rush to ever read anything by her again.
Profile Image for Nazanin.
1,037 reviews587 followers
October 20, 2017
4.5 Stars

Well, this story was different from my usual read in Mystery/Thriller genres. This one wasn’t so complicated but at some point reading it was difficult because of the darkness within it. It’s unlike me to enjoy slow mystery but I really liked this one. This story keeps you on the edge of your seat and you can’t put it down. It was really well-written and characters were perfect.

Cathy has OCD but her OCD doesn’t do anything with checking windows, curtains and her flat door six times a day! Even she checks them for hours! Some times she counts steps. She listens to sounds very carefully. She barely sleeps. She doesn’t have any close friend. She doesn’t trust police. She scared of crowded places. But the thing is she wasn’t like this three years ago! She was like a normal person with friends… So what happened three years ago that made her to be like this and be at running all the time!?! I can’t tell you anymore about the story for not spoiling it. But I’m assure you if you like mystery with some dark elements, it’s worth reading. I loved it and hope you enjoy it, too!
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,114 reviews1,978 followers
August 29, 2017
I am not sure why I took so long to get around to this book since I knew it was getting really good ratings from friends whose reading tastes I trust! Anyway I eventually picked it up on Monday evening and finished it on Tuesday. It was worth waiting for!
This is a psychological thriller of the best kind, one where you know something awful is waiting just around the corner and you need to keep on turning those pages until you find out what happens. Watching the main character's OCD moments was painful but seeing her gradually pick herself up and work towards a normal life was so pleasing. And waiting for the threat to return was nerve wracking!
The book is very well written and is remarkably a debut novel. I enjoyed the way Cathy's story was told in alternate chapters between the past and the present and I also felt all the characters were well developed and played their roles appropriately.
Highly recommended if you like to be a bit scared.
Profile Image for Maxine (Booklover Catlady).
1,286 reviews1,246 followers
June 23, 2021
My definition of a good read? A book that you can't put down, that has you reading at all hours and one in which you deceive yourself with "just one more chapter" Another of my personal indicators of a good book is some twists and turns that you didn't see coming, this book fits all of my criteria.

Wow! This book is not for the faint hearted and without putting in spoilers I will just say that some scenes in this book are violent and graphic, possibly triggering for some, if it had been a movie I would have been closing my eyes at certain points, but the book is so much more than just that.

Brilliant plot, interesting character development, thrilling suspenseful moments, unexpected turns, a fantastic read especially if you are up for an all night book journey, just you and the book.
Profile Image for Karin Slaughter.
Author 118 books60.9k followers
April 19, 2014
I thought this was an excellent first novel because it hit on my favorite topics: dark psychological intrigue and really interesting characters.

Actually, I liked it so much that I chose it to publish under my imprint (Slaughterhouse) in Holland.
Profile Image for Caroline Roberts.
182 reviews5 followers
February 25, 2012
Badly written, unbelievable characters and events and full of gratuitous sex and violence Can't understand why it got so many 5 star reviews on Amazon - just awful,
Profile Image for Michael.
836 reviews614 followers
December 21, 2016
Cathy’s relationship with Lee seems good to begin with, but as his true self starts to emerge, the more she is pushed into the darkest corner. This is a story of a very abusive relationship and the chilling effects it has on Catherine. Lee is controlling, abusive and thinks he is smart enough to get away with it; but can he?

Written in two parts, Into the Darkest Corner slowly unfolds the destructive relationship between Cathy and Lee. It also includes the story four years after, showing the damage done to Cathy which has left her isolated, suffering from OCD and post traumatic stress. The two different time periods are written in a slightly different format showing the chilling tale of a woman slowly slipping into her darkest corner, then showing her trying to recover from all the damage. The two different writing styles are what makes this book so haunting; it’s like watching a car crash, you can see Cathy’s happy and party-like attitude slowly dissolving.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s dark, chilling and very disturbing; it was sickening at times but still an exciting novel to read. I had real pleasure reading something so dark; not often do you find a book so disturbing and yet so enjoyable to read. While I think this book was really good, I couldn’t recommend it to anyone that might freak out or identify with Cathy too closely. This is not a light book and definitely not for overly emotional or the faint of heart. I was really impressed with Elizabeth Haynes’ debut novel Into the Darkest Corner and I can’t wait to read her next book.

Original review appeared on my blog;
Profile Image for Carolyn.
2,092 reviews588 followers
June 17, 2017
An exceptionally good psychological thriller that kept me on edge for most of the book. Written with alternating past and present threads, it relates how Cathy, a carefree single party girl fell in love with the handsome Lee, undercover policeman, and how he gradually took over control of her life and every movement. Obsessed with her and constantly watching her, he becomes abusive and turns her into a fearful wreck. Four years later while Lee has been in jail for nearly killing her, Cathy suffering from PTSD and OCD, is trying to rebuild her life but jumps at shadows and trusts no one. When she finds out Lee is about to be released, her anxiety levels ramp up even further. This is such an accomplished debut novel, quite gritty and confronting, it is very tense and a real page turner.
Profile Image for Andrea.
545 reviews
March 6, 2017
Brilliant,this book starts off to a court case,going back and forth telling a story how she met Lee, to how she was not coping with ocd.she was struggling to cope with her past with Lee till she met her neighbour.This story build up till it exploded, with Lee not being the person she knew from the start.incredible story.worth more than 5* rating.recommend this book as so good.great writing.
Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,121 followers
May 5, 2015

It took me a while to get past Cathy's OCD routines and the way the book was written, alternating from past to present day, but as I kept reading, I found I could not stop wanting to find out what Cathy's psycho control freak boyfriend was going to do next, and WHAT AN ENDING!

Profile Image for Debbie "DJ".
350 reviews393 followers
May 4, 2015
I started this book some time ago, after reading a few books on feminism, and the rape culture we live in. I was put off by the beginning of this book, as it begins with a woman going to bars, picking up men, and taking them home. So much so that I posted a very rude comment. I'm so thankful to a phenomenal friend on this site who courageously called me on my own shit. NO WOMAN IS EVER ASKING FOR RAPE. This I know deeply, and am appalled at my suggesting otherwise. Needless to say, I read this book.

I'll start by saying I was not impressed with the beginning. However I need only to look at my own actions to see how easily this could have been me. Being young, drinking and bar hopping, looking for love. How many young women do this, never expecting the worst could happen to them. This is a story of just how the worst does happen, and how one woman's life is forever altered. It is also a story of deep betrayal, and how betrayal can have it's own horrific consequences.

Although I understand the authors need to drive home how affected the main character was, I found the first half very repetitious. She is suffering from OCD, and must check the security of her home over and over again. Yet, OCD is repetitious. The constant, and incessant need to control her anxiety showed just how cruel this disease is. Yet reading about the same actions over and over became monotonous for me.

Holy moly though! The second half of this novel just took off! I literally was running into doors while trying to read and walk at the same time. I simply could not put it down. An ultimate thriller where I had no idea what was coming next, who to trust, who not to trust. I'm still in awe of Elizabeth Hayes. How her novel held me spellbound. I felt like I was on a roller coaster, completely terrified by what might be coming next, only to have a small reprieve, and wonder what lay around the next corner. Fantastic read!
Profile Image for Sammi.
71 reviews15 followers
April 14, 2013

SERIOUSLY WHAT THE HELL!! I dont know whether to laugh, cry or scream at you Lee....

That, is what i call an emotional rollercoaster. I have been sat on my couch since finishing this book about 30 minutes ago running everything through my head, processing what has just happened to me.

Infact, what HAS just happened to me. If anything, im slightly more paranoid after reading this. Dont get me wrong, im not claiming to have a stalker, or imply i know anyone THIS messed up, but holy heck!

It took me less then 5 minutes to become totally engrossed in this book. Firstly, Cathy, u deserve a frikkin medal. I personaly could not have gone through that crap & back through the other side as well as you.

Anyway, about the book.....

There is a young immature Cathy and an older Cathy. Young Cathy is full of spirit, laughter and love and the other is a mentaly destroyed OCD sufferer looking to recover from the trauma she has endured.

Young Cathy meets an enigmatic sexy guy called Lee while on a night out with friends... you follow her journey over the next months as Lee becomes more and more controlling of her life untill she is suffocated and beaten down. Unable to take the relationship anymore & wanting nothing more then to be her old self, Cathy attempts to leave Lee. But, Lee is a master manipulator and soon drags Cathy kicking and screaming into a relationship of lies, fear and hate.

It really is a scary, disturbing story and i would not recommend it to anyone who is fainthearted.

However, i would recommend this book to anyone who is willing to take the journey.

Thank you for the journey Ms Haynes!

You can also find my reviews here:
http://lilythenovelnerd.wordpress.com/ (tho they are alot more colourful)
Profile Image for Robert.
Author 8 books417 followers
December 21, 2013
INTO THE DARKEST CORNER reminded me of a slow burn, of holding my marshmallow an inch or two above the campfire, the flames licking and dancing but never quite touching that puffy goodness. But minus the gooey center and the warm, fuzzy feeling that a sugar rush gives you. Instead, this novel has a bitter aftertaste that leaves you wanting to down shots of Jose Cuervo to take away the burn. To be honest, it kind of creeped me out, like a whisper just behind my left ear with nary a hint of a mouth or an individual to explain the voice I heard.

I understood Cathy’s character, but I couldn’t really identify with her. Rather than seeking out help or even fully recognizing her emotional disorder, she chooses to bury it and attempt to move on with her life, but she seems to fail somewhat miserably in her effort. I wrote those two sentences about a quarter of the way through the novel and before I completely understood her character. Needless to say, I’m willing to admit how wrong I was. She’s a freaking trooper, and four years later she’s lucky to be walking the Earth, all trust issues, anxiety, and OCD aside.

She may have to check a lock six times but it’s what helps her push through, to make it from one moment to the next, even if those moments turn into hours, and she has to repeat the process three or four times to help her feel truly safe. Catherine Bailey may have been a twenty-four year old carefree, fun-loving individual, but Cathy Bailey is one tough, yet emotionally damaged woman, and she’s not going down without a fight.

I had a hard time understanding that woman. You know, the one that stays in a relationship even when it starts going horribly wrong, and the boyfriend/husband/lover suddenly turns into a wife beating, knife yielding maniac who carves up his beloved like she’s some kind of Christmas ham. After reading this novel, I understand the dynamics of that particular relationship a bit better. And it kind of freaks me out.

Cross-posted at Robert's Reads
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,801 reviews830 followers
March 17, 2015
4.5 Stars

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!

This review is also posted on The Readers Den.
Profile Image for Dem.
1,176 reviews1,066 followers
January 20, 2014
Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes is an intense, compelling and harrowing psychological thriller and I for one really enjoyed this page turning novel.

I probably have passed this book in the bookshop numerous times but failed to even pick it up as its cover is just not appealing and I have to be honest I do judge a book by its cover when browsing books. I was given this as a gift for christmas and was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this novel and Elizabeth Hayne's ability to craft such a gripping tale.

This is a terrifying and very convincing portrayal of an abusive relationship and a woman who having being pushed to the limit is building a new life for herself and coming to terms with her past.
This is not a book for the faint hearted and I have to warn readers there is quite a bit of profanity in this novel and some people may find that offensive so therefore be warned.

I loved the character of Catherine Bailey, she was a very real character with real problems and I am sure so many people will sympathise with her and the delicate situation in which she finds herself.
This novel is very well written in terns of suspense and it really had me gripped from page one. Its prose is simple and the sort of novel you can happily cosy up on the sofa (once you have locked all the doors and windows) and know you are going to be in for a cleverly crafted psychological thriller.

Profile Image for Maxwell.
1,089 reviews7,946 followers
January 9, 2019
This was WILD. A total page turner and probably one of the most anxiety-inducing books I've ever read. I felt Cathy's dread, and the build up was intense. Actually it was mostly build-up, and I'd say the resolution was slightly underwhelming. On top of that I think it was a tad too long and repetitive for my liking, though that repetition definitely did contribute to the sense of unease and anxiety that characterizes Cathy and this book in general. Overall I was hooked and really enjoyed the reading experience.

Major content warning for assault/violence, sexual assault, abuse. It's definitely hard to read at times, so if you are sensitive to that at all, I would not recommend this book.
Profile Image for Kainat 《HUFFLEPUFF & PROUD》.
293 reviews718 followers
April 2, 2017
Me: sees a new book being released with a beautiful cover and unique plot.

Goes out and buys all the versions.

Starts a buddy read with a bunch of people online.


Then instead of keeping up with the buddy read she get distracted by this beauty!

I started Into the Darkest Corner Thursday night & finished it by Fridays night. It's highly addictive. It's a must read for Psychological Thriller fans.
Profile Image for Jeanne .
303 reviews
February 16, 2016
4.5 stars!

I had to sleep on my review for this one. I thought it was quite the page turner, and really good overall! The plot of the book isn't all that original, it was the way the story unfolded that made it stand out for me. I think the way the author went back and forth between past and present was a clever way of giving the reader a disturbing insight into this relationship gone very bad.

Present day Cathy is suffering with OCD and anxiety, but she is functioning, and getting through life day by day. I liked that the present day chapters showed her personal growth, and she even has a new friend and possible romance. The past chapters tell the story of this past abusive relationship with a guy named Lee, which is what caused her to have these anxiety issues. The past chapters were disturbing to read right from the beginning. There was something just really creepy about reading those early warning signs that this guy was psycho. In reality, possessive, controlling behavior isn't hot, or a sign that the guy loves you. It's an early pattern of abuse, and this book tells the truth about that.

I have to be honest, I'm a bit of a delicate flower when it comes to violence. The scenes of rape and abuse in this book were very graphic and disturbing to read. I'm not putting that in a spoiler tag on purpose, because I think it's good to know what you are getting into when picking this up. I didn't enjoy reading those scenes, obviously, but I appreciate that she showed just how ugly, horrible and dangerous domestic violence is. The present day chapters are a good balance though, because you see Cathy gradually getting better. As the book moves along, the past and present come together, and things get very suspenseful!

I would have given this 5 stars, but a couple small things didn't come together for me in the end.

Spoiler is for friends who have read it, please don't open if you haven't read the book!

Overall, I would definitely recommend this though!
Profile Image for Suz.
1,046 reviews532 followers
October 19, 2017
Another thriller based on domestic abuse. I rated this 5 stars but as I read it weeks ago, my book memory is hopeless! Scary is the prospect that even the closest friend of the abused do not believe the victim. Chilling! Then for one of those friends to end up a part of the mess as well. It was edge of your seat stuff and rewarding reading about such a strong woman. The crazy lengths that the abuser will go to were deplorable, but interesting the support and advice the victim could use to her benefit. Yes, a lot of this seemed unlikely, but I must have liked it if I rated it 5.
49 reviews2 followers
June 25, 2012
There is only one reason to read this novel - if you are a writer or a writing teacher, looking for perfect examples of bad writing to help improve yourself or your students. This book is full of mundane details and would have benefitted greatly from an editor with half a clue. I honestly did not care about 70% of the repetetive and useless information that was offered without advancing the story or enlightening the reader about the characters in the slightest. The book is 600 pages. It should have been 300. No character is fully fleshed out as a person, rather, they are one dimensional horror film victims, predators, or merely devices. This book is hugely insulting to women, and I was surprised a woman wrote it. Catherine has got to be the most ignorant and helpless victim I've had the displeasure of reading about in the last twenty years or so. Every single decision she makes is a bad one which makes no sense whatsoever. The detailed descriptions of her violent attacks are disgusting and unnecessary. There are many things she does and says and that her attacker, Lee, does, which are not at all credible or believable. None of the women, including her best friend, are strong or reliable people or a good friend to her until they are personally attacked themselves. It is obvious that this book was a writing exercise, and I only wish the writer had scrapped it as a first attempt, learned from her mistakes, and then written a real novel, worthy of a real read. I know this sounds harsh, but I was offended at how bad this book was, and how many fantastic reviews it seems to have gotten.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,170 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.