Title: Into the Darkest Corner
Author: Elizabeth Haynes
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Four years ago, Catherine Bailey was physically and emotionally abused by her boyfriend, Lee. She was a fun-loving girl, and no one took her too seriously, so when she reached out for help, no one believed her. Lee was just too charismatic, too charming. Now, Lee is in jail and Catherine is trying to get on with what’s left of her life. A far cry from the vivacious person she was, Catherine suffers from severe OCD. She must confront her fears so she can move on with her life.
Into the Darkest Corner is a gripping, compulsively readable psychological thriller with an amazingly written main character. Catherine is completely broken when the novel starts. Her OCD is crippling; she does her apartment checks, locking the doors and windows, and any small interruption can devastate her. These impulses have taken over her life. No matter how much she wants to control them, she can’t. It’s completely heartbreaking for the reader, as she’s such an endearing character who has been through hell and back. It’s difficult to see how damaged she is.
Haynes underlines how different Catherine is now from the person she used to be through the use of flashbacks. This technique is used extremely effectively and serves multiple purposes for the reader. First, the reader get to see how Catherine’s relationship with Lee unfolded and devolved into abuse, to understand her history. Second, the reader is exposed to what Lee actually did to Catherine, and what she underwent to make her so neurotic and damaged now. And finally, the reader gets to see how psychologically traumatized Catherine is in the present. Sometimes it’s hard to believe her past self and present are the same person, because they’re so completely and utterly different.
The reader is plunged into the depths of OCD in Into the Darkest Corner. Haynes clearly researched the disorder, and the reader gets a sense of Catherine’s frustration at this condition she can’t control. The novel is a stunning, horrific portrayal of abuse, but it’s so tightly woven that the reader can’t help but keep reading. This is one of those read-late-into-the-night-with-your-heart-racing novels; Catherine’s fear absolutely leaps off the page and infects the reader.
If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers, Into the Darkest Corner is an absolute must-read. Though it’s over 400 pages, the story flies by as the reader becomes consumed with Catherine’s story. It’s intense, gripping, and I can’t praise it highly enough. I’m already eagerly waiting for Elizabeth Haynes’ next novel.