Into the Darkest Corner

Elizabeth Haynes

Catherine has been enjoying the single life for long enough to know a good catch when she sees one. Gorgeous, charismatic, spontaneous - Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. And her friends clearly agree, as each in turn falls under his spell. But there is a darker side to Lee. His erratic, controlling and sometimes frightening behaviour means that Catherine is increasingly isolated. Driven into the darkest corner of her world, and trusting no one, she plans a meticulous escape. Four years later, struggling to overcome her demons, Catherine dares to believe she might be safe from harm. Until one phone call changes everything. This is an edgy and powerful first novel, utterly convincing in its portrayal of obsession, and a tour de force of suspense.

 

 

Then we are taken forward to 2007 where Cathy is managing to hold down a job in London, but is now suffering from OCD and obsessively checking the door locks and windows of her flat over and over again. Something terrible has happened to her and when the young doctor Stuart from the flat above begins to pay her attention that anxiety increases. One day she learns Lee has been released from prison…

Once I had got into this book, which was very different from the rest of my current reading, I literally could not put it down. The narrative fairly roared along to the conclusion. Possibly one of the reasons I enjoyed the book so much is that Stuart works and Cathy seeks treatment at the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma at the Maudsley Hospital in Denmark Hill. I lived on Denmark Hill only a couple of hundred metres from the Maudsley in the late 1950s and early 1960s, an age when mental illness was not regarded in the same enlightened way as today. The characters are so well drawn that it is sometimes very easy to identify them as people we have known in real life. [Including a violent real life Lee who murdered his wife] The twin stories are told in the first person a difficult technique but one which adds enormously to the mounting tension.

 

I’d always thought that women who stayed in abusive relationships must be foolish. After all there had to be a moment, a realisation that things had taken a wrong turn and you were suddenly afraid to be with your partner-and surely that was the moment to leave.

 

...a very good thriller with a lot of relevance for today’s young people as they deal with difficult relationships.

Review by Norman Price, CRIME SCRAPS REVIEW

About Elizabeth Haynes:

Elizabeth Haynes worked for many years as a police analyst. Her debut novel, Into the Darkest Corner, won Amazon's Book of the Year in 2011 and Amazon's Rising Star Award for debut novels. Elizabeth grew up in Sussex and studied English, German and Art History at Leicester University. She is currently taking a career break having worked for the past seven years as a police intelligence analyst.

Elizabeth now lives in Kent with her husband and son, and writes in coffee shops and a shed-office which takes up most of the garden. She is a regular participant in, and a Municipal Liaison for, National Novel Writing Month - an annual challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November.

 

This is a brilliant book which after a brief but important preamble tells the story of Catherine Bailey in two separate time frames each one dealt with in alternating chapters. Firstly we are in Lancaster in 2003 as Cathy meets and gets involved with Lee Brightman, a handsome charming young man, who the sociable, effervescent, and sexually liberated Cathy finds very attractive. All her young girl friends also lust after the dishy Lee, usually a sign of trouble to come in novels and real life.