Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Amazon UK Best Book of 2011 - Definitely A Winner!

"I'm wondering about this evening, because at the moment I'm okay. I'm half expecting a panic attack to hit me later on, just when I'm least prepared for it, but at the moment everything is okay and I feel all right. I had just finished eating, and there was a knock at the door. I froze, my whole body tense. I don't think I even breathed. My door buzzer hadn't sounded, so it was either someone in the house, or the door had been left unlocked again. Whatever--even if my life depended on it, my body wasn't going to let me move an inch. I felt tears sliding down my cheeks.
"Another knock, slightly louder. Nobody has ever knocked on my flat door before...
"I had a clear view to the door from where I was sitting on the sofa, stared at it and at the peephole. The light from the hallway, which normally shone through like a little beacon, was blocked by whoever was on the other side and all I could see was a round dot of darkness. I stared with such fierce concentration, it was almost as though I could make out the bulky shape of him through the solid wood, and I held my breath until my head pounded and my fingers started to tingle."

Into The Darkest Corner
                          By Elizabeth Haynes

This debut is stunningly realistic and may have one of the most illustrative examples of Obsessive Compulsion Disorder (OCD) that readers will ever find. The scary thing is the reason behind that behavior. You see, Catherine Bailey had not always felt the need to spend an hour checking and rechecking her locks, the doors, the windows. Like many who are abused beyond endurance, it came as she freedom from fear...

But she never really succeeded... The Corner beckoned always... And dreams of the red dress...

First I want to comment on the beautiful hardback cover that complements the novel. The paper cover of the book is more sinister representing the thriller; however, the cover itself is worthy, in my opinion, of allowing the book to be casually left on a side table and clearly will be a lovely addition to your personal library. Catherine wears the red dress and stands in front of a window...the dress had become a symbol of the torment, the control that she had been forced to endure for so long. The back shows the dress hanging on a limb--has she tossed it away or did something else happen to her?

The thing about Lee Anthony Brightman was that he was so charming and handsome that many of her friends thought she was lucky to have him, and even implied they would be interested if she separated from him...

And during the trial, Lee had continuously lied about her being jealous, accused him of having affairs, and much more. Fortunately, though, he had been convicted and was now in jail.

But it had never ended for Catherine. She was changed.

So much so that when a man moved into the apartment above hers, he soon recognized the signs--the need to ensure the front door to the building was completely shut, the extra checking to see that the door to her own apartment was definitely locked...she counted them--she checked each six times. Stuart, who was a psychologist, began to slowly interact with her and a relationship was developing. However, when Catherine started to notice that things seemed to have been moved in her apartment, she didn't know whether it was really happening or not. Stuart didn't support her until the woman in the downstairs apartment had been attacked--something was definitely happening, but the things changed in her apartment were like what Lee had done to torment her. But Lee was still in jail...

Catherine suffered from PTSD, manifested outwardly through OCD. It was a terrifying experience that had changed her to the person she now was. The trauma of what Lee was doing to her in secret, while from the outside, everybody thought they had a wonderful relationship, is chilling and sometimes disturbing to read. Fortunately, the author takes readers to different time periods which not only breaks up the tension, but provides the background to Catherine's relationship with Lee and friends of hers at that time. But the real Lee is so abusive that readers will want to run and protect Catherine in some scenes! Be prepared for violence and sexual abuse.

This is not an easy book to read, but I commend the author for this work. She's done an outstanding job in representing Catherine, both in being willing to write and show what led to her psychological issues, as well as her efforts to regain control of her life. An unforgettable story; a fascinating psychological thriller! Suspenseful--keeps you on edge until the last page!

Highly recommended!


Elizabeth Haynes is a police intelligence analyst. She started writing fiction in 2006 with the annual challenge of National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) and the encouragement of the creative writing courses at West Dean College. She lives in a village near Maidstone, Kent, with her husband and son. Into the Darkest Corner is her first novel. Visit her website at
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment