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Elizabeth Haynes's chilling debut, Into the Darkest Corner, alternates scenes from a woman's violent past with her struggle to rebuild her present-day life while stalked by her abuser.
When Catherine Bailey met Lee, he seemed like the answer to a single woman's wildest dreams: gorgeous, attentive and sexually insatiable. Although his work as an undercover police officer made their dating schedule erratic, the relationship quickly deepened. Catherine's friends couldn't believe her luck, and a happily-ever-after life seemed certain. Then Catherine realized Lee was following her and picking the lock on her apartment when she was away, and soon her fairy tale became a violent nightmare.
Now Catherine has moved, taken a new job and begun calling herself Cathy, but none of it alleviates her need to check the locks dozens of times before leaving home or her sense of being stalked despite knowing Lee is behind bars. A tentative new romance with a psychologist inspires Cathy to seek counseling, and she begins to improve. When Lee is released from prison, though, her fears are made flesh as the man who nearly killed her decides he wants her back.
Haynes's frank portrayal of domestic violence and post-traumatic stress disorder will both horrify and compel. The alternating time frames quicken the book's pace rather than confuse the plot, heightening the suspense as past and present both hurtle toward terrifying climaxes. Readers will find themselves eerily spellbound, although side effects may include a sudden urge to lock your doors.
***This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness Readers Edition. Sign up for this free and awesome newsletter at http://www.shelf-awareness.com for the latest news and reviews! This review refers to an ARC provided by Shelf Awareness.***