6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
"He was going to come for me; it was only a question of time...",
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This review is from: Into the Darkest Corner (Paperback)
This was an incredibly well written psychological thriller that looks at the impact an abusive relationship can have on its victim. It had me hooked right from the start and I couldn't put it down, reading it in one sitting. It is frightening and disturbing but there is nothing at all sensationalist about it, merely a chilling believability that will really make the reader think and a heightened sense of expectation that you just know something bad is going to happen.
This is a dual narrative story, telling of Cathy's life in 2003 whereby she meets Lee and back then is a confident, outgoing woman- and that of her life in 2007 when she has changed immeasurably. She is living alone and suffers from OCD and panic attacks, living in a constant state of fear. By alternating the chapters to both past and present, the reader learns just what has happened in Cathy's life to make her the person she is now, and just how damaging some relationships can really be.
As I've said, this was a very compelling read. As the narrative alternates between the past and the present, as a reader you come to understand exactly why Cathy is the way she is and just what her relationship with controlling Lee has done to her state of mind and personality. The contrast between bubbly, outgoing Cathy of 2003/2004 and the fraught, anxious state she is in 2007/2008 is a real eye-opener. The characters are very well crafted and utterly believable- particularly as hidden dark sides are slowly unveiled as the twists and turns of the story unfold. The author has clearly carried out a lot of detailed research into her subject matter and should be commended for it. In terms of the portrayal of Cathy's OCD, a few reviewers have commented that this comes across as a bit monotonous, but I actually felt the opposite and that it just added another dimension of believability to the plot. I empathised with her completely, imagining just how trapped and isolated she felt about having to go around such routines on a repeated basis.
I have deducted a star merely because I did feel it was a little bit contrived to have Cathy's new neighbour be a psychologist- someone who would immediately `get her.' I also didn't really like how Cathy and her friends were portrayed as good time girls who merely go out drinking and flirting- they were depicted as a bit flighty, and I didn't like Cathy's friends' lack of response to her relationship with Lee, either.
I have to say that I am not surprised that this book is receiving such accolades though- it is remarkably well written with intense twists and turns that will leave the reader on tenterhooks. I am very glad that I read it, despite the disturbing subject matter- though I will concede that it may hit some people hard, so proceed with caution. I know I will be recommending it to my friends at least and I cannot wait to read more works by this author- it is hard to believe this is only her debut novel!