Catherine Bailey has been enjoying the single life long enough to know a catch when she sees one. Gorgeous, charismatic and spontaneous, Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. And her friends clearly agree, as each in turn falls under his spell. But what begins as flattering attentiveness and passionate sex turns into raging jealousy, and Catherine soon learns there is a darker side to Lee. His increasingly erratic, controlling behaviour becomes frightening, but no one believes her when she shares her fears. Increasingly isolated and driven into the darkest corner of her world, a desperate Catherine plans a meticulous escape.
Four years later, Lee is behind bars and Catherine—now Cathy—compulsively checks the locks and doors in her apartment, trusting no one. But when an attractive upstairs neighbour, Stuart, comes into her life, Cathy dares to hope that happiness and love may still be possible . . . until she receives a phone call informing her of Lee’s impending release. Soon after, Cathy thinks she catches a glimpse of the former best friend who testified against her in the trial; she begins to return home to find objects subtly rearranged in her apartment, one of Lee’s old tricks. Convinced she is back in her former lover’s sights, Cathy prepares to wrestle with the demons of her past for the last time.
Wow! Elizabeth Haynes is a phenomenon!!
'Into the Darkest Corner' is one of those books that is so full of suspense that it boosts your adrenaline to sky high levels. It takes hold of your mind from the first page, keeps your eyes pinned to the pages and won't let you put it down until you've finished it.
This is the story of Catherine Bailey, a young, beautiful woman, recounted over two separate timelines, 4 years apart. At the beginning it took me a little while to get used to the shift from one time period to the other as this occurs from one chapter to the next throughout the book, but soon I noticed that despite the 4 year gap, the author has cleverly correlated consecutive chapters in some way or another.
At the beginning, Catherine is a fun loving, party going girl. She goes out every night with her friends to bars and clubs. She drinks a lot and every night either drags someone to her place or ends up in some stranger's bed.
One night she meets a gorgeous, sensual man named Lee. They are immediately attracted to and fall for each other. Their relationship is very sexual from the start and we have numerous steamy sex scenes. However, after some time it becomes obsessive. Lee focuses all his attention absolutely on her. At first she feels protected but then she begins to feel suffocated. She becomes increasingly isolated by his jealous and controlling behaviour. All her friends abandon her. I compared Lee's effect on Catherine with grey clouds slowly covering a bright moon and bringing about complete darkness. At one point looking back she realises that : "It wasn't about walking away anymore. It was about running. It was about escape".
Four years later Cathy is a very different person, a shadow of her former self, living alone a very insecure life. She's always afraid and trusts no one. Suffering from an extreme case of OCD she constantly checks the locks on her front door and windows. In fact we have a LOT of checking in this book. We know that something extremely bad has happened to her to have changed her to the state she's in. We also know that her relationship with Lee has ended but we are given the details further on in the book.
Stuart, an attractive young man comes to live in a flat upstairs. He patiently begins to help her with her condition and to rebuild her life. In time Cathy starts to feel better and regains some confidence. She begins to hope that once again love and happiness will make part of her life. This until one phone call arrives and all that she had so painstakingly recreated comes tumbling down to rubble.
I really loved this book and I highly recommend it. I didn't want it to end. My coffee remained untouched and turned cold as I couldn't stop reading the last quarter. The author gives life to her characters in such a realistic way that it made me appreciate the difficulties faced by people suffering from OCD and to realise that each and everyone of us could find him or herself in Catherine's situation. If it were so, would we be able to fight and have our lives back?