Do we really know those closest to us? Deep inside are they who we believe them to be? What happens if the man you love begins to undermine you with your other friends and family, wanting you only for himself? How can you fight the rumors and the thoughts that now inhabit the sanctum of your inner group?
In Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes we are invited into a chilling and dark thriller that creates a vibe that makes the hair stand on your arms. Cathy Bailey is a young woman with a great group of friends. When she meets Lee Brightman she is excited, yet wary. He is different than most of the men she knows, exceptionally handsome but just as mysterious as he is charming. As Cathy begins a strange relationship, both secretive and exciting, she finds that she is beginning to lose touch with her friends. As her life begins to change so does the mindset of those she calls her closest allies. When the unimaginable happens, she is suddenly adrift on her own, and no longer has a life of ease.
Everything that has occurred to her has, in effect, created another being. She is no longer the fun-loving and cheerful woman she was. She locks herself behind doors and windows; Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder has taken over her life. Repetitive steps to every aspect of her life keep her from being locked away in panic. Can following her new set of rules keep her safe, or will Lee find her again? Even her friends no longer know her, and she walks a thin line very close to madness. Who can help her if she cannot even help herself? She sees Lee everywhere she looks, how can she move on? Will he find her and finish the task he has set before himself?
Haynes has given us an unusual heroine in Cathy. She is strong to a point, and somewhat defiant, yet she cannot seem to pull herself from herself inflicted OCD. Haynes creates the terror of domestic abuse in a way that feels real and yet so very unreal. You get into Cathy’s head and feel what she feels and the unreality of the situation scares the hell out of you. Obsession and love are very different and yet there is just enough want that in the beginning it is easy to miss the signs.
Her protagonist is dark and just a bit evil. The evil is difficult to spot, and yet it is there, strong and creepy. His agenda is difficult to follow at first and yet he gains the trust of those closest to Cathy, and begins to twist and thread his own ideas and thoughts in such a way as they begin to see her in a different light. The undercutting of her very base begins to erode, leaving her without any support at all.
Into The Darkest Corner is a thriller with overtones of horror. There is very much about domestic abuse and the aftermath, as well as how some women learn to cope. Haynes brings OCD out of the darkness and helps you to understand the reasoning that is often inherent in the repetition, the safety that is gleaned by such actions.
If you enjoy thrillers and strong charismatic people you will enjoy Into The Darkest Corner. The characters and the story line suck you in, keeping you checking your own windows and doors. This would be a great book for a book club or a reading group. So much of what it entails is so true to life that Haynes’ novel will stay with you long after the reading. You will find yourself checking your own doors more often. Into The Darkest Corner would be a great book for your own library, a savage and chilling tale told with gusto.