Reviews for Into The Darkest Corner

Booklist Reviews 2012 May #1
Four years after being brutally attacked by Lee Brightman, her boyfriend at the time, Catherine Bailey is still suffering from the aftereffects of the crime. She is fully in the grip of obsessive-compulsive disorder, spending hours checking and rechecking her doors and windows to make sure she is safe. When she learns that Lee is about to be released from jail, her disorder escalates, for even though she has changed her name, appearance, and town, she is terrified that he will track her down and kill her. As the narrative splits into two time frames--one describing Catherine's former carefree life as a party girl; the other, her haunted present--first-novelist Haynes builds suspense on two tracks, one leading to the graphically described assault that led to Brightman's imprisonment, the other to his anticipated return. It is a testament to Haynes' skill that she is able to create a chilling page-turner out of such unpleasant subject matter. Yet the novel's clever construction is undermined somewhat by weak characterization and repetitiveness; still, this is perfect for readers who prefer their suspense straight up, no chaser. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A runaway hit in England, where it was named an Amazon Best Book of the Year, this debut novel has been sold to 12 countries and Revolution Films and has a 100,000-copy first printing. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 May #1
In Haynes' debut, a woman is stalked by the former lover who nearly killed her. Because of a dual time frame that introduces us to twitching, OCD- and PTSD-plagued Catherine Bailey in the fall of 2007 and then pulls back to 2003, we know that the gorgeous, too-good-to-be-true guy she meets in a bar on Halloween is….too good to be true. So the suspense, such as it is, comes from 1) waiting to find out exactly what horrible injuries Lee Brightman inflicted that got him jailed, and 2) how long it will take him to find Cathy, relocated from Lancaster to London, once he is released on December 28. The author plausibly traces Cathy's evolution from feisty party girl to paralyzed victim too terrified to do anything but wait for the next blow or knife slash--and it's a nasty twist that smooth-talking Lee has persuaded all her girlfriends that she's a neurotic self-cutter inexplicably trying to reject the man who truly loves her. The arrival in Cathy's present-day life of gentle psychologist Stuart Richardson, who refers her to doctors to treat her disorders and builds up her self-esteem, is plausible enough, though Stuart is the kind of totally understanding character who exists only in novels to heal the heroine and be bonked on the head by the villain. Readers are basically turning the pages until they get to the big denouements: the gory final scene of abuse, which in real life would likely have ended with Cathy's death; and the climactic confrontation in which we hope she will inflict equally gory retribution. (Don't worry.) Haynes clearly intends this to be a tale of female empowerment, but it's really just another revenge fantasy. And the ending, which dangles the possibility of a sequel, is a cheap shot. Effective, in an ugly sort of way. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews 2012 February #2

Gorgeous Lee Brightman seems like a dream come true to Catherine Bailey--until he shows himself to be violent and controlling. Four years later, he's in jail, and she's starting life over, traumatized enough to check every lock twice. Sure, the guy next door looks appealing, but then there's that phone call.... A surprise hit in the UK, where it was named an Amazon Best Book of the Year, this book has been sold to 12 countries and Revolution Films as well; with a 100,000-copy first printing.

[Page 76]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Library Journal Reviews 2012 April #2

Catherine is a happy, outgoing, thirtysomething, enjoying her work and active social life until she meets handsome, charismatic, intelligent, and sexy Lee. Before long, Lee becomes manipulative, suspicious, angry, and very violent but also manages to fool Catherine's friends. Caught in a classic abusive relationship, Catherine first tries to placate Lee and fights to escape. He nearly kills her and is jailed, while a traumatized Catherine is left with a terrifying case of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). As she struggles to repair her life, she meets Stuart, a doctor in a local mental health clinic. Though understandably wary of another relationship, Catherine finds a real friend in the caring, compassionate, and supportive Stuart. But when Lee is released from prison, Catherine's panic attacks return. The intricate narrative that alternates between Catherine's past life with Lee and her present situation with Stuart grabs readers and leads them to the unsettling yet satisfying ending. VERDICT UK police intelligence analyst Haynes has crafted a scary and superbly written debut thriller. Her chilling portrayal of OCD and the violent cycles of an abusive relationship will cause readers to lose sleep and check the locks on windows and doors. The characters are real, and the dramatic tension created by Catherine's painful efforts to heal keeps readers tightly engaged. Fans of S.J. Watson, Lisa Gardner, and Susan Hill will welcome this new entrant to the genre. [See Prepub Alert, 1/16/12.]--Susan Clifford Braun, Bainbridge Island, WA

[Page 79]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Library Journal Reviews 2012 June #1

This intensely dark and suspenseful tale is told through two parallel storylines. One, set four years in the past, centers on the young and vivacious Catherine Bailey, barhopping with her girlfriends and looking for love. The second storyline focuses on Catherine's life in the present, in which she has changed her name, moved to a new city, trusts no one, and compulsively checks the locks on her doors and windows. What happened to her in the intervening years and can she reclaim her life? VERDICT This chilling debut tale of obsession will keep readers awake late into the night.

[Page 97]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Library Journal Reviews Newsletter
Catherine Bailey escapes an abusive relationship but now is trapped in her home owing to fear. When she learns that her abuser has been released from prison, the terror only intensifies. A chilling debut thriller. (LJ 4/15/12) (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 April #2

British author Haynes's first novel, a harrowing psychological thriller, charts one woman's life on two different time paths as they gradually converge into a frightening whole. The Catherine Bailey we meet in 2003 was fun loving and liked going out with her friends in Lancaster. The Cathy Bailey we see in 2007, a frightened obsessive-compulsive, has difficulty leaving her London flat for work or talking to neighboring tenants. In 2003, Catherine meets handsome, charming Lee Brightman, who gradually isolates her and controls every aspect of her life, despite her increasingly desperate attempts to escape him. Their story develops in excruciating detail until 2005, when circumstances contrive to give her a respite from Lee. Meanwhile in 2007, Cathy meets fellow tenant Stuart Richardson, a psychologist who befriends her and helps her to begin a fragile recovery. When Cathy learns that Lee could re-enter her life, she fears the horror will start anew. This is a terrifying and convincing portrayal of an abusive relationship and a damaged woman's heroic attempts to recover from it. (June)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC