Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
|Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A powerful novel which deals with obsession and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Absolutely superb.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 384||Date: February 2011|
|Publisher: Myriad Editions|
|External links: Author's website|
The book didn't actually look that appealing. The cover is on the sepia side of dull. I didn't know the author's name and the title didn't really grab me. When I started reading we were straight into the transcript of a court case in which it seemed that a police officer was being questioned in court about his relationship with a woman. He was accused of being violent to her, but it seemed that the boot was really on the other foot. Then we were into a story – or even two stories – with two time lines some four years apart. Within ten minutes I couldn't put it down.
I've always said that I would never be caught in an abusive relationship, as I'd be out of it at the first sign of a problem but after reading this book I realised that it really isn't that simple. It starts so gradually with what looks like a good relationship and even your friends are jealous of your luck and really, there might have been room for complaint about your behaviour and what was asked (well, demanded) didn't seem that unreasonable. When you call it a day on the relationship you realise that you're lonely and hindsight paints a rosy glow over what happened. Perhaps it was you that was unreasonable and you give it another go…
There's a superb picture of the burdens of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). It's not enough to check once that the door is firmly locked. What if you didn't lock it properly? You develop a routine for checking the door. It's quite lengthy and if you're interrupted you have to start again, but when you've done it you feel calmer. Then there's the windows, the curtains, the cutlery drawer… Worst of all though are the panic attacks when even breathing is a major problem. Logic doesn't play a part in this and even when it does there are fears which over-ride it.
You see the before - the build up and development of the relationship and its steady decline into violence – and the after, the disintegration of a life as Post-Traumatic-Stress Disorder takes hold. There's the difficulty of getting treatment – why would you want to get treatment for doing the only thing which makes you feel safer? Does all this sound dry and worthy? Well it isn't. There's real dramatic tension in this book and when I got to the end the first thing that I did was to turn back to the beginning again.
I haven't told you anything about the characters, have I? I'm not going to either – I'd much rather than you read the book. They all come off the page perfectly formed and you'll believe in every one of them – I just don't want to spoil one moment of the pleasure of this book for you. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
For more on OCD we can recommend In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut. If you'd like a non-fiction approach to the subject then you'll enjoy A Secret Madness by Elaine Bass and teenagers will appreciate Zelah Green: Who Says I'm a Freak? by Vanessa Curtis.
You can read more book reviews or buy Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes at Amazon.com.
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