Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
Harper Paperbacks, 2013
Crime Fiction; 432 pgs
This is one of those books that I knew I would love as soon as I began reading, one that would linger with me even when I wasn't reading it. Elizabeth Haynes eases into her narrative, a story alternating between the past and present, introducing us to Catherine Bailey, a young woman is haunted by her past. An intense and abusive relationship has left her wounded and alone. She's begun a new life for herself, completely leaving behind her old one, but is constantly looking over her shoulder. Cathy's new neighbor, Stuart, reaches out to her, but Cathy isn't sure she wants to open up to him, much less trust him. And then she receives news that upends her new life, sending her into a panic and wondering if her fears will once again become reality.
Her ex-boyfriend, Lee, was extremely charming and handsome. It is no wonder Catherine fell for him initially. It's the usual story in that sense. Mr. Charmer wins the woman's heart and she overlooks the warning signs, too swayed by the attention and love he offers her. But then the mind games begin, slight ones at first--the kind you wonder if you are just imagining. It soon became clear he was extremely controlling--and yet on the outside, he appeared to be the most attentive boyfriend. All her friends thought so. She was lucky, they told her. She didn't feel she could turn to them for help as a result.
Elizabeth Haynes takes on the difficult topic of domestic violence in her novel. She does an excellent job of putting into words the breakdown of a person's confidence and the doubts that enter her mind as well as the guilt and desire to be loved even by the person who is hurting her. Catherine did want out, and acknowledges that escape isn't as easy always just a matter of walking out the door and never looking back. It can be much more complicated than that. Especially with someone like Lee. Even I was afraid of Lee.
Into the Darkest Corner can easily be described as a psychological thriller, but it really is more than that. It is also the story of a woman regaining control of her life and overcoming her mental illness. Cathy had to dig deep inside herself to find the strength she needed to work towards healing her mental wounds. I thought Haynes did a marvelous job of documenting one person's difficult journey toward recovery, the ups and downs. The details were true to real life.
I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this book--and how much it disturbed me. I found myself double checking the locks on my own doors. I look forward to reading more by Elizabeth Haynes in the future. She has a gift for characterization and weaving together an unforgettable story.
To learn more about Elizabeth Haynes and her books, please visit the author's website.
I hope you will check out what others had to say about Into the Darkest Corner on the TLC Book Tours route!
Many thanks to the TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to be a part of this book tour. Copy of book purchased by myself.
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