Into the Darkest Corner is a wholly believable dark thriller and I thoroughly enjoyed it, I could not bring myself to put it down at times. The psychological elements rung absolutely true to me as a reader and the OCD elements truly helped shape Catherine as a character. I found myself cringing at the thought of Lee reappearing and having Catherine's mental torment become real once more. The suspense was exceptionally well built-up and I found myself not wanting the novel to end, but at the same time Catherine became rather real to me and I wanted her to have a HEA.
I knew it was locked, but I had to check nevertheless. As I checked it, six times, one-two-three-four-five-six, I told myself it was locked. I locked it last night. I remember locking it. I remember checking it. I remember checking it for fucking hours. Even so, it might not be locked, I might have made a mistake. What if I’d unlocked it again, without realizing? What if something went wrong with the checking, and I wasn’t paying attention.Loc3393
After a while, my breathing calm, back to normal, I wondered if I should go upstairs and knock on his door. I found myself having the conversation in my head: Oh, hello. Did you knock? I was in the shower . . . No, that wouldn’t do it—how would I have known it was him? Again, I heard my mantra coming unwanted into my mind: This isn’t normal. This isn’t how normal people think. Fuck off, world—what the hell is normal anyway? Loc560
The relationship between Catherine and Lee, while never feeling wholly right to me (either because I knew what was to come or because I just don't like Lee's type even without the psychotic behavior, I can't say) was a good examination of how slowly a relationship can become something from a crime show. While the behaviors in the beginning were not terribly likable, they were not glaring signs pointing to an end that will likely see Catherine dead. So he has a secretive job? Odd but there could very well be a good explanation. He disappears for days...again, could be that job. There were just so many elements of Lee's behavior that could be explained by something on the straight and narrow
that Catherine continually dismisses her gut feelings. And if anything can be taken from this tale it is that a woman should trust her gut
It was heartbreaking to watch how Lee was also able to manipulate not only Catherine but those around her, leaving her completely alone and easier prey.
“With Lee. I’m just—sometimes I’m just a bit scared.”
At last she stopped what she was doing. “Why are you scared? You’re not scared of Lee, surely—he’s wonderful. Are you scared of losing him, somehow?”
I paused while I tried to find the right words. “He’s not always wonderful.”
“You been having fights?”
“Sort of, I guess. I don’t know—I’ve been tired, he’s been working a lot. When I do see him it always seems to be on his terms, and he doesn’t like me going out without him anymore.”
Sylvia sighed. “To be fair, though, honey, he’s kind of got a point. Look at the way you were—the way we all were—when he met you. You were going out every night you could with the sole intention of flirting. No wonder he’s nervous about letting you out.”
I didn’t say anything, so she went on, “You’re in a relationship now, hon. It’s a whole different ball game.” Her voice softened a little. “Lee’s a good man, Catherine. Don’t forget some of the complete shits you’ve been out with. I’m sure he’s just being protective of you. And not only is he totally fucking gorgeous, but he loves you, he really does. Everyone said that, after the dinner party. He’s so obviously completely and totally in love with you. That’s what we’re all waiting for. I wish I had that. I wish I had what you have.”
“I know.” I was trying not to let her hear my tears. Loc3308
Both major characters in the book (aside from Lee), Catherine and Stuart, were immensely likable. I think this made Catherine's tale all the harder to swallow, especially as it does
happen to women all around the world, in some way everyday. Stuart was a calming, non-pushy presence for Catherine, one she severely needed. However, I do think that Stuart “happening” to be a psychologist was a bit too convenient seeing as he moved into the apartment upstairs, but I was more than happy to overlook this seeing as how well the plot was laid out otherwise.
“Do you know what the worst thing was?” I said at last, into his shoulder. “It wasn’t sitting in there, in that room, waiting for him to come back and kill me. It wasn’t being hit, it wasn’t the pain, it wasn’t even being raped. It was that afterward nobody, not even my best friend, believed me.” I sat back then, looked out at the river, a barge going slowly past, downstream. “I need you to believe me, Stuart. I need that more than I’ve ever needed anything in my whole life.” Loc4237
Overall the story was rather realistic, however, there were moments that I found difficult to accept. For instance, Catherine is attempting to overcome all of her fears and at times feels claustrophobic in dealing with them. One such instance found her deciding to be brash and investigate what sounded like someone breaking into the apartment downstairs. She then essentially makes her way to the apartment and so on and so forth. This seemed completely unlikely and just plain idiotic, even for someone without OCD and major fears.
But I found the flaws in this novel to be minimal and the overall journey engrossing. This is by far one of my favorite suspense novels and I will definitely partake in the author's writing in the future.