Thursday, January 3, 2013

Book #79: Into the Darkest Corner

Book #79: Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
5/5 stars

Happy New Year everyone! For those who found my blog a little later, yes I am trying to read 100 books in a year, but I wasn't smart enough to come up with the idea last January! Therefore, I still have until March 1 to finish my 100 books, and since I recently finished #83, I think I can do it! And something else little before I get to the review...just for fun, as a new little feature I've decided to add at the bottom of my posts a list of what I'm currently reading so you can get a feel for what's coming up in the blog. Sometimes it'll just be one title, sometimes more than one, as I like variety, depending on my mood. =)

Alright, so now...this book is one that I teased out on my Facebook a few week ago, describing it as one of the most terrifying novels I've ever read! This novel was recommended to me by a friend, who warned that it kept her up at night, but that only intrigued me. =) This is the debut novel of a British police intelligence analyst turned author, so it includes some frightening situations that the author may have pulled from her own job, and they are played out in realistic, terrifying ways.

The novel begins with a trial transcript from 2005, in which Lee is on the stand, testifying that Catherine is basically crazy, and that he did nothing wrong, but ends with a cross-examination that leaves the reader doubtful and confused. The novel then flashes back and forth between 2007 (the present), and 2003, in the life of Catherine Bailey. In 2003, she seems to be a healthy, fun-loving young woman who doesn't necessarily lead the safest life, but is enjoying herself. But in 2007, it seems as though we are looking at a different character, because Catherine has developed a debilitating form of OCD and some definite paranoia, that does not allow her to have close relationships, and forces her to spend hours checking that various parts of her apartment are secure. When a nice man moves into the apartment upstairs, Catherine struggles with her feelings for him, as he seems safe and friendly, but she cannot let go of her past. Just when life seems to be taking a turn for the better, Catherine gets a phone call that changes everything.

We come to find out through the flashbacks to 2003, leading up to the present, the reason that Catherine has so changed: Lee. Catherine's relationship with Lee starts out great, but the reader is on his or her guard because of the court transcript from the beginning, and the obvious change in Catherine just a few years later. It turns out (and don't worry, this isn't a spoiler!) that Lee is not the perfect man that he originally seemed to be, and Catherine becomes more and more frightened of him, yet can't seem to shake him from her life. The entire story is later revealed, and the suspense is insane!

It's so hard to describe this novel without giving all of the good stuff away, so I guess you'll just have to read it! What I can tell you is that despite the length of this novel (416 pages), it was a quick and seriously chilling read, up until the final page, which left me shivering. This book is not for everyone; I will warn that there are some very graphic scenes that not every reader may be able to stomach, so make sure you can handle it before you start this book, because once you begin it, you won't be able to put it down! It is absolutely the best suspense/psychological thriller novel I've read in a long time, maybe ever. I would love to talk about it with someone, so if you decide to read this book let me know, because so far no one I know has been brave enough to try it! Happy reading =)

What I'm reading now...

1. Cutting and the Pedagogy of Self-Disclosure by Jeff Berman and Patricia Hatch Wallace (nonfiction)

2. White Swan, Black Swan: Stories by Adrienne Sharp (short stories)

3. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (YA fiction)

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