Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: January 2013
Format: Trade paperback, 410 pgs
Source: Personal Library
When Catherine Bailey first met Lee Brightman in a bar in 2003, he gave her the impression that he was a handsome and charming man. Never mind that he was a bit mysterious, as Catherine herself liked meeting people and she liked having fun. She was flattered and couldn't believe her luck when Lee expressed his interest in her. All her girlfriends are envious of her and they think that Lee is too perfect to be true, but nevertheless they are all happy for her.
However, things began to turn ugly the more Catherine got to know Lee. He was no longer the charismatic man she knew when she first met him, instead he had begun to show his ugly side - jealousy, controlling and worst of all, abusive. He isolated her and controlled every aspect of her life; Catherine tried to escape from him but he always seemed to be a step in front of her. After all, he was a police officer and who would believe what she said?
Despite her hopelessness, Catherine did manage to escape from Lee eventually and he was given a three-year sentence in jail. Still, Cathy Bailey has always lived in fear and she has turned from a fun loving woman to a frightened obsessive-compulsive woman. She couldn't trust people and she always has this urge to check on her apartment and ensures that all the windows and doors are locked, six times. She has been doing these for three years since Lee had been put to jail. Then, her life changes when an attractive psychologist, Stuart Richardson, moves into the apartment. Her new tenant not only befriends her and encourages her to confront her fears but he has also fallen in love with her. Through him, Cathy slowly recovers from all the trauma but what she fears most has turned to reality when she learnt that Lee is released from jail and he is going to re-enter her life, again.
Told in Cathy's perspective and alternated between Year 2003 and 2007, author Elizabeth Haynes gave her readers the detailed and harrowing account of Cathy Bailey's encounter with Lee Brightman and how she strived to escape from his grasp, both before and after his sentence.
Although the plot may not be new, I find the success and the best part of this book is the writing style and how cleverly the story is being crafted. There was never a dull moment as I found myself being sucked into Catherine/Cathy's world of horrors. I felt the emotions she experienced through Elizabeth Haynes' skilful writing, from her fear in Lee to the love she receives from Stuart. Just when you thought there is nothing but fear and horror in this story, Stuart is like a breath of fresh air as he offers not only encouragement and hope to Cathy but he also allows us to trust that there are such kind and helpful people like him around us.
Into the Darkest Corner is Elizabeth Haynes' first novel and I am very excited to learn that her next novel, Dark Tide, is already released this month. Needless to say, I have already added that title to my To-buy list and I can't wait to find out what is in store in that story.