I first read Into the Darkest Corner a few years ago and – ‘loved’ feels like the wrong word for this kind of book – I loved it. I picked it up again recently and devoured it over a weekend which, for someone who bangs on about how much time she doesn’t have, was no mean feat.
I’ll try not to give away any spoilers so bear with…
Into the Darkest Corner is a heavy, psychological thriller which follows the relationship between Catherine Bailey and a handsome, charismatic nut job called Lee.
I know I was drawn in by Hans Frozen but generally I’m a good judge of character, I knew Lee was a wrong ‘un from the off. Sort of. Although Haynes does brilliantly at setting the scene and creating a romantic smokescreen making Lee seem ‘oh so dreamy’ so that, like Catherine, by the time you fully realise just how bat shit crazy he is, it’s far too late.
The book unfolds along two narratives; one chronicling the development of Catherine and Lee’s relationship, where we see Lee get more and more monstrous, building to ‘the incident’ (via a whole trail of hideous incidents along the way) and the other following Catherine’s life post-Lee. I enjoyed the split narrative , the contrast in the voices of Catherine pre and post Lee was a stark reminder of the devastation of domestic abuse.
The present part of the story is set after Lee has been charged for his crimes and sent to prison. Terrified of her own shadow and battling debilitating OCD and post traumatic stress, Catherine must try to continue with her life whilst knowing that Lee is due for release any day. It’s an incredibly intense read and there’s a growing sense of doom that builds steadily through both arcs of the story; you know you’re heading to some very scary places both in the past and the future. It’s a real edge-of-your-seat read.
Read it if:
You want a fast paced, challenging thriller.
Don’t read it if:
Domestic abuse and rape are triggers for you or you want something nice and gentle to read before bed – It’s a disturbing story that doesn’t skimp on violent details.
Let me know if you’ve read it and what you thought.