Monday, May 28, 2012

Into the Darkest Corner - Elizabeth Haynes

First sentence: "As far as days to die were concerned, the longest day of the year was as good a day as any." (Note: this follows a court transcript, so it's not technically the first sentence, but it's the first sentence of prose.)

Catherine Bailey is a young, carefree woman out clubbing with her friends when she meets the tall hunky Lee Brightman policing the VIP entrance at one of the clubs. She's pleasantly surprised when Lee shows an interest in her and soon they're spending a lot of time together. Lee's job at the club is just a side gig, Catherine learns. He's helping out a friend; his regular job involves undercover work and he leaves for days at a time and doesn't talk about the work. Catherine's friends all envy her fortune at finding such a wonderful guy. But Catherine soon learns Lee isn't as wonderful as he leads everyone to believe. His behavior morphs into controlling, violent actions against Catherine. As she tries to figure out how to escape this threatening relationship, her friends seem to turn against her...

Four years later, Lee is in jail and Catherine is going by Cathy, living far from her former home. Everyday she must check the doors, windows and silverware tray - obsessively. When she comes home from work she has to check them again. Everywhere she goes she thinks she sees Lee. She can only shop on certain days; she has to drink her tea at specific times; and she varies her route home from work every day so no one can discern a pattern to her route. Panic attacks have become a regular part of her life, but it's a life she controls and understands. So when psychologist Stuart Richardson moves into the flat above hers and encourages her to work on letting go of the obsessive behaviors, the safe bubble she's worked so hard to keep herself in pops, and Cathy discovers it's o.k. until she receives a call on Christmas Eve informing her Lee has been released from jail...

Into the Darkest Corner is written in alternating flashback scenes and present day. Elizabeth Haynes simultaneous shows Catherine's life falling apart as Cathy's life is coming together. When those two time periods collide, Cathy/Catherine experiences an explosive change. This plot effect works brilliantly at building suspense, keeping the reader turning pages with a perverse interest: you desperately want to know what happens but at the same time you're terrified to know. In your head you'll hear the music movies play to build anxiety in the audience. Similarly, Catherine never knew what to expect when Lee would come through her door either. So Haynes puts the reader in Catherine's shoes through this effect as well.

One of the most fascinating elements of this book is the way Haynes details the progression of the abusive relationship and helps the reader to see that just walking away, like so many people insist abusive victims should do, is not always as easy as we'd like to believe. And Haynes developes Lee's character so articulately as the chameleon that the handsome, charming police officer is far scarier than any horror villain with a chainsaw or hockey mask.

99% of this novel is stellar and Haynes shows exceptional promise as a psychological thriller writer. My only disappointment was the ending. Without giving any spoilers, I simply felt that the novel runs out of steam and the end kind of falls off. The energy and power of the novel all the way through didn't seem to match the end. Despite that, I would highly recommend people check out Into the Darkest Corner. This debut novel kept me up literally all night long, and the reading experience was well worth the 400 pages.

Into the Darkest Corner is available in hardcover (ISBN: 978-0062197252) from Harper starting June 5, 2012.

My review is part of the TLC Blog Tour. I encourage you to check out what some of the other bloggers on the tour have to say about Into the Darkest Corner. You can find links to their sites here.


Lilian May 30, 2012 at 12:48 AM  

I am a sucker for well developed characters and suspense, and it sounds like Into the Darkest Corner has all of this..and more. Thank you so much for the review~

Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

Anonymous May 30, 2012 at 3:50 PM  

[url=]payday loans[/url] - payday loans , payday loans

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours June 1, 2012 at 2:09 PM  

Bummer about the ending, but the rest of the book sounds fantastic!

Thanks for being on the tour.

Sarah June 2, 2012 at 8:57 AM  

I have this on my list after reading the delightful Elizabeth Haynes at crimefest. I'm looking forward to it.

Sarah June 2, 2012 at 8:57 AM  

I have this on my list after reading the delightful Elizabeth Haynes at crimefest. I'm looking forward to it.


2011 2012 2013 Ace Atkins Adrian McKinty Agnete Friis Alafair Burke Alan Bradley Alan Glynn Alan Orloff Alex Berenson Alex Dryden Alexandra Sokoloff Andrew Grant Andrew Gross Anne Zouroudi Annie Barrows Ariana Franklin Arne Dahl Attica Locke audiobook jukebox Audiobooks author events Author Q/A Barry Eisler Bernard Cornwell Beth Ann Fennelly Bill Cameron Bill Crider Bill Loehfelm Bill Pronzini blog tour Book Events Book News Brad Meltzer Brad Parks Brent Ghelfi Brett Battles Brian Azzarello Brian Freeman Brian McGilloway Bryan Gruley C. J. Box C.J. West Camilla Läckberg Cara Black Carl Hiaasen Carla Buckley Carlos Ruiz Zafon Carter Wilson Catriona McPherson Charles Cumming Charlie Huston Charlie Newton Chevy Stevens Chris Grabenstein Chris Holm Chris Kluwe Christa Faust Christopher Reich Christopher Rice Chuck Greaves CJ Lyons Claude Berube Colin Cotterill Cozy Mystery Craig Johnson Craig McDonald CRCRC crime caper Crime Fiction Crime Writers Caught Recommending Crime CWCRC D.A. Mishani Dana Cameron Daniel Palmer Daniel Silva DATW Dave Barry David Baldacci David Corbett David Ellis David Handler David Hayward David Morrell David Rosenfelt Deborah Coonts Deborah Crombie Declan Burke Denise Hamilton Denise Mina Dennis Lehane Detective Fiction Diane Stuckart Don Bruns Don Winslow Donald E Westlake Donato Carrisi Douglas Corleone Duane Swierczynski dystopian Earl Emerson ebook Ed Lynskey Edoardo Ballerini Elizabeth Hand Elizabeth Haynes Emma Donoghue Eric Beetner F. Paul Wilson FFB Five on Friday Focus Features Forensic Science Foul Play Books Francine Mathews Gabriella Herkert Gar Anthony Haywood Gayle Lynds General Fiction George Guidall George Pelecanos Gillian Flynn Graham Brown Gregg Hurwitz Hallie Ephron Hank Phillippi Ryan Harlan Coben Harley Jane Kozak Harper Lee Herman Koch Heroes and Villains Hilary Davidson Historical Fiction Hugh Laurie Ian Rankin Inger Frimansson Ingrid Thoft international thriller J.J. Myers J.T. Ellison James Barney James Conway James Crumley James DuPont James Fredericks James Grippando James Lee Burke James LePore James O. Born Jamie Freveletti Jan Burke Jane Cleland Janet Evanovich January LaVoy Jassy Mackenzie Jed Rubenfeld Jeff Abbott Jeff Woodman Jeffery Deaver Jeffrey Cohen Jeffrey Siger Jennifer McMahon JIAB2011 JIAM2013 Jill Thompson Jo Nesbø Joelle Charbonneau John Connolly John Grisham John Hart John Lescroart John Sandford John Shannon John Verdon Johnny Shaw Jon Land Jonathan Hayes Jonathan Kellerman Jonathan Schuppe Joseph Finder Joseph Wallace Joseph Wambaugh Josh Bazell Josh Corin Joy Castro Julia Heaberlin Julia Pomeroy Julia Spencer-Fleming Julie Hyzy Juliet Blackwell Karen Fossum Karen Olson Karin Slaughter Katherine Kellgren Keith Thomson Kelli Stanley Kelly Braffet Ken Bruen Ken Isaacson Kevin Guilfoile Kimberly McCreight Lachlan Smith Laura Lippman Laurie R King Lawrence Block Lee Child Left Coast Crime Legal Thriller Lene Kaaberbøl Lenny Kleinfeld Les Roberts Liad Shoham Libby Hellmann Linda Castillo Linda Fairstein Linwood Barclay Lisa Ballantyne Lisa Black Lisa Brackmann Lisa Gardner Lisa Lutz Lisa Unger Literary Mystery Lori Roy Lou Berney Louis Bayard Louise Erdrich Louise Penny Louise Ure MacLeod Andrews Marcia Clark Marcus Sakey Mark Billingham Mark Gimenez Mark Hammer Mark Pryor Mark Sullivan Markus Zusak Martin Limon Martyn Waites Mary Higgins Clark Matt Coyle Matthew Dicks Matthew Pearl Matthew Quirk Medical Thriller Meg Gardiner Megan Abbott Memoirs Meredith Cole MfM 2011 Michael Chabon Michael Connelly Michael Harvey Michael Koryta Michael Lister Michael Stanley Michael Van Rooy Michael Wiley Michelle Gagnon Middle Grade Mike Lawson military thriller Murder and Mayhem in Muskego Narrator Interviews Nevada Barr Nonfiction novella NPM Oliver Harris Owen Laukkanen p.i. fiction paranormal Paranormal Thriller Pat Conroy Paul Levine Pete Larkin Peter Berkrot Peter Robinson PI Fiction poetry Police Procedural political thriller Psychological Thriller R.J. Ellory Ralph Cosham Raymond Chandler Rebecca Cantrell Reed Farrel Coleman Reg E. Cathey Review review copy Richard Lange Ridley Pearson Robert B. Parker Robert Crais Robert Dugoni Robert Fate Robert Greer Robert Gregory Browne Robert Pobi Robin Burcell Rochelle Staab romantic suspense Rosemary Harris Ross Macdonald Rupinder Gill Ruth Rendell Ryan David Jahn S. J. Watson S.J. Rozan Sandra Ruttan Sara Gruen Sara Henry Sara Paretsky Sarah Weinman Sasha Abramsky Sci-Fi scientific thriller Scott Turow Sean Black Sean Chercover Sean Doolittle Shane Gericke Shelf Awareness review Short Stories Simon Lewis Simon Prebble Simon Vance Simon Wood Six-word Memoirs Sophie Hannah Sophie Littlefield Spencer Quinn spy thriller Stefanie Pintoff Stephen Cannell Stephen Coonts Stephen Jay Schwartz Stephen King Stephen White Steve Forman Steve Hamilton Steve Hockensmith Steve Mosby Steve Ulfelder Steven Forman Stieg Larsson Stuart Macbride Sue Ann Jaffarian Sue Grafton Susan Arnout Smith Suspense/Mystery T. Jefferson Parker Tania Carver Tasha Alexander Tess Gerritsen theme week Theresa Schwegel Thomas Holland Thomas Kaufman Thomas Young Thriller Tim Dorsey Tim Maleeny Timothy Hallinan tlc book tours Todd Ritter Tom Franklin Tom Piccirilli Tom Schreck Toni McGee Causey Tony Hays Tony Hillerman Trevanian Truman Capote Val McDermid Victor Gischler Walter Mosley Warren Ellis Wayne Arthurson Will Lavender William Kent Krueger Xe Sands xuni author Yasmina Khadra Young Adult Young Readers Yrsa Sigurdardóttir Zoë Sharp

Great Indie Bookstores


An amazing collection of authors!

TLC Book Tours

Traffic Map

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed

Google+ Followers

Our Blogger Templates Web Design

  © Blogger templates 'Neuronic' by 2008

Back to TOP