Monday, 30 April 2012

Book Review: Into the Darkest Corner

Into the Darkest Corner
by Elizabeth Haynes
Published: February 1st 2011 by Myriad
Format: ebook
ISBN: 9780956559982
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.

I read this book after seeing it on a repeat of the Channel 4 TV Book Club. The panel raved about it and I have to say I absolutely agree with them. This book is an unputdownable tense read right from the opening chapter.

The story is told in two different timelines - 2003 Catherine and 2007 Cathy. Catherine has changed so much in the intervening years that it is like reading about two different women.

Lee seems too good to be true when Catherine first meets him and it tuns out that he is. The abuse starts subtly - he tries to control what she wears, distances her from her friends and chips away at her self-confidence. To make matters worse, no one believes her. All her friends think Lee is the perfect boyfriend.

Catherine's story is disturbing, violent and at times upsetting to read. Ms Haynes deals with the subject of domestic violence without coming across as judgemental. I can't say I enjoyed this book - given the subject matter that doesn't seem the right word to use, but I was certainly gripped by it and read it in two sittings.

I was surprised to read at the back of the book that this was a debut novel - it's enough to make an aspiring wannabe writer give up now.

I would thoroughly recommend this gripping crime thriller and give Into the Darkest Corner 5 out of 5.

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