Book Review: Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

Into The Darkest Corner is about the life of Catherine Bailey. Everything seems to be ordinary, until the day she met the charismatic, handsome, and irresistibly sexy Lee Brightman. Their chemistry was undeniable: they are both crazy for each other, great sex, and all a young woman like Catherine could ask for a man. Even Catherine’s friends think she’s lucky to have Lee as a boyfriend. But that’s all they know because what seems to be a perfect pair in the eyes of an outsider has turned into a possessive, controlling, and abusive relationship Catherine fights to escape from. Lee, the perfect and enigmatic man, had morphed into a monster who constantly stalks, rapes, and beats Catherine to death. Worst, no one believes her – not even her best friend.

Four years later, now that Lee is locked behind bars, Catherine had moved into a new city for a fresh start. But every day she fights for freedom while suffering traumatic repercussions from her past.

Fair warning: there is brutal description of physical abuse throughout the book. If you’re a faint of heart, you might want to consider this before reading Into The Darkest Corner.

The author, Elizabeth Haynes, is successful in capturing the intensity of the story by alternating chapters between Cathy’s past and present day. As her relationship with Lee unfolds, we also get to see how she copes every single day with PTSD and OCD. The way Haynes wrote Catherine’s trauma was so bold and right on: the need to check inside her apartment before leaving for work, and other numerous paranoiac things she does in public are just downright freaky. It’s scary to think the burden of trauma she acquired from the abuse.

 The transformation of Lee Brightman’s character – from a protective, and caring man to a crazy, dangerously possessive creature –  was carefully crafted as the story unfolds. On the other hand, Cathy had found an upright companion with Stuart Richardson, a psychiatrist who moved into the same apartment building as hers. At first I didn’t trust this guy, much less as Cathy considered him nothing more than an inconvenience to her daily OCD-ish rituals every day. I guess my over skepticism is to blame for this. I didn’t trust anybody in this book until at least when I got into the middle part. And I mean it the best way.

As I move along with the story, like any ordinary reader does, I tried to think of a possible resolution. I’m glad it didn’t turn out the way I expected it.  Overall, Into The Darkest Corner was intense and thrilling. You wouldn’t understand me fully until you see for yourself.

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