Elizabeth Haynes is fast becoming one of my favourite writers. This morning I finished Into The Darkest Corner, which she published in 2011.
My wife is used to me reading books and writing my blogs but she said something this morning that made me realise just how much I enjoyed this book. “It must be good. I’ve never known you rave about one like this before”. I hadn’t stopped talking about it for 10 minutes after I put it down.
Into The Darkest Corner, is both the most compelling, and probably the most harrowing, book I have read.
The book is written in the first person narrative style that allows the reader to understand the fear the main character, Catherine, feels. Split over two time periods, alternating chapter by chapter between events that take place in 2003-4, and events that start in 2007.
In 2003 Catherine is an outgoing party girl with little in the way of morals, until she meets the man of her dreams, Lee. Unfortunately for her the mysterious Lee is not all he appears and Catherine is slowly manipulated into becoming a victim of domestic abuse of the worse kind.
In 2007 Catherine is a very damaged young woman, with severe OCD, who is desperately trying to get her life back on track.
Elizabeth Haynes manages to convey the emotions of the younger Catherine as she transitions from a party girl to one being in love. She builds up the tension in the relationship and it becomes almost understandable how women fall into the life of a victim of abuse whilst clinging onto the fact they have found Mr Right. As the abuse becomes more violent Catherine begins to realise that she is in a harmful relationship, but can she get out of it? How bad will it be before she can get out? And what will be the culmination of it all?
Elizabeth describes the suffering of OCD and the fright of everyday life for the older Catherine in a way makes the reader feel every emotion. It is obvious that she has been affected by something in the earlier period of her life but the way the book alternates between the two time periods the reader can never be sure of what until close to the end.
Catherine finds help in the form of a very patient neighbour, Stuart, but is he also too good to be true, can she trust him.
The end of the book is every bit as tense as the rest. No spoilers so no more about the plot.I have reread this blog and have rewritten it twice. Why? Two reasons.
Firstly I don’t think I’m doing the book justice. It really is brilliant.
Secondly, no matter how I try to describe it I make it sound like a book, or story, for women. It isn’t, it’s far from it. I would recommend this book to everybody.
It’s a hard hitting, fast paced, brutal, erotic, thriller that should be read by everybody.