Into The Darkest Corner

Into the Darkest Corner UK

UK edition

Into The Darkest Croner

USA paperback

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. This is an edgy and powerful first novel, utterly convincing in its portrayal of obsession, and a tour de force of suspense.


Into the Darkest Corner was the third of my annual ‘Nano’ novels and it was the first one that had something like a proper ending. I wanted to write about how it felt not to be believed, and the story evolved from that idea. Many writers plan their stories carefully before they start, but I have a tendency to get bored and distracted, and my solution to this is to let the story grow as I write it. That way the ending is a surprise to me, and writing about it is exciting and fresh. Of course, it takes much longer to edit than if I’d planned it properly.

The story was partly inspired by my work as a police intelligence analyst. At the time I was producing a quarterly report on violent crime and as part of this I read a lot of accounts of domestic abuse. I was guilty of having very fixed ideas about violence in the home and the sort of people who were victims of it, and this stereotype was challenged in every way by the reports I was analysing. I’d always thought of domestic abuse as something that happened to ‘other people’, but it affects many couples and families from every part of society and is often very well hidden. In the book, Cathy’s friends don’t realise what is going on right in front of them, partly because they have no experience of violence – it’s something that happens to ‘other people’.

It can be all to easy to pass judgement on victims who stay in violent relationships but for a lot of victims of violence in the home, there is no easy escape from it. Aside from the emotion, there are so many practical factors that keep people together: having children, the perceived shame of a failed relationship, even something as basic as not being able to afford to move out of the house. And so a difficult situation can be made much worse, and the cycle of violence continues and escalates.


The Guardian

“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.”
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NewBooks Magazine

“A very impressive first novel; it tells the story of Catherine who starts off as a lively, fun loving party girl until she meets Lee.”
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The Bookbag

“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.”
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Amazon UK

G. Gavigan (VINE VOICE)
“The blurb on the back cover reads “utterly convincing in its portrayal of obsession and a tour de force of suspense”. Whenever I read something like that a little “yeah, right” flutters by. Well reader, I was wrong.”

Rowena Hoseason (TOP 50 REVIEWER)
“Told from the point of the view of a female victim, this first novel is utterly gripping, extremely well told and considerably more detailed and textured than the typical crime thriller.”

L. H. Healy (VINE VOICE)”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.”

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