“When young, pretty Catherine Bailey meets Lee Brightman, she can’t believe her luck. Gorgeous, charismatic Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. But what begins as flattering attention and spontaneous, passionate sex transforms into raging jealousy, and Catherine soon discovers that Lee’s good looks hide a dark, violent nature. Disturbed by his controlling behaviour, she tries to break it off and is stunned when her friends don’t believe her. 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—is trying to build a new life in a new city. The trauma of the past still haunts her. Then Stuart Richardson, her attractive new neighbour, moves in. Encouraging her to confront her fears, he sparks unexpected hope and the possibility of love and a normal life.
Until the day the phone rings . . .”
I’ve just finished “Into The Darkest Corner”, the 2008 debut thriller by English author Elizabeth Haynes.
Written entirely from the perspective of Catherine (Cathy) Bailey the story is told in two separate timeframes, switching back and forth between the two as details are gradually given to the reader.
In the earlier timeframe we join Cathy, living in Lancaster, as she meets Lee Brightman and follow her as their relationship develops.
In the second, set four years later, Cathy is a transformed character, suffering with extreme OCD and slowly rebuilding her life in London whilst Lee is in prison – though exactly what for isn’t made clear until later – with the help of her new upstairs neighbour Stuart.
I found this to be a very compelling and horribly believable story. Not at all pleasant at times, often explicit in terms of sex, violence and emotions, I can imagine that this would make particularly hard reading for anyone that has suffered from domestic abuse such is the credibility of the detail. It makes for thought provoking reading.
Haynes does such a good job in building up her characters, especially Cathy, that the reader feels invested in what happens to them. The occupation given to the character of Lee adds to the dramatic possibilities perfectly and the unfolding sense of fear and horror as the whole story finally comes out is brilliantly done. Highly recommended…