Release Date: January 2, 2013 (first published January 1st 2011)
Pages: 410 (ebook)
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Review Date: October 17, 2016
Rating: 5 bookmarks
Synopsis: When young, pretty Catherine Bailey meets Lee Brightman, she can't believe her luck. Gorgeous, charismatic, and a bit mysterious, Lee seems almost too perfect to be true.
But what begins as flattering attention and spontaneous, passionate sex transforms into raging jealousy, and Catherine soon discovers that Lee's dazzling blue eyes and blond good looks hide a dark, violent nature. Disturbed by his increasingly erratic, controlling behavior, she tries to break it off; turning to her friends for support, she's stunned to find they don't believe her. Increasingly isolated and driven into the darkest corner of her world, a desperate Catherine plans a meticulous escape.
Four years later, Lee is behind bars and Catherine—now Cathy—is trying to build a new life in a new city. Though her body has healed, the trauma of the past still haunts her. Then Stuart Richardson, her attractive new neighbor, moves in. Encouraging her to confront her fears, he sparks unexpected hope and the possibility of love and a normal life.
Until the day the phone rings . . .
When I read the final page of this story and it was all said and done, felt horrible for the protagonist Catherine, because she goes through one of the most horrific experiences one can imagine. On the flip side, I also managed to feel hopeful about her which was the light at the end of the tunnel. Coming into this story right after previously finishing a book about abuse (It Ends with Us) which was presented in a much "softer" way, this was a hard story to read at times. You've been warned if abuse is a trigger for you. If it will upset you too much, steer clear.
The other main character, Lee, is certifiably crazy. If I wasn't clear...he's sick in the head crazy! He's a manipulator, a ladies man, all the things that put men in a bad light rolled into one. He's the guy that when you come across him and he says "hi" to you, you run in the opposite direction and fast.
Lee is a master of isolation. Separating Catherine from family and friends so that she is more vulnerable to fear and influence. What's sad is that Catherine know's what's happening and she can't do anything about it...or can she?? I liked how Catherine evolved as a character as the story progressed. She had sever PTSD as well as other issues as a result, but her character was never in a rut. That alone helped to propel this story forward.
This book will sweep you up in a roller-coaster ride of emotions that will have you audibly reacting to things going on in the story. Haynes did a marvelous job making the reader understand the fear and desperation of trying to escape an abusive situation. Thankfully, I've never been in those shoes, but this story makes me have a better understanding of how sometimes these things are hard to get out of alive. It's sad and scary. I also see how these types of men prey on the weaker seeming women. Women that may have preexisting self image issues, family issues, etc. that may allow them to be more susceptible to manipulation in the beginning. It's a serious and real thing.
As I mentioned earlier, my book club was very vocal about this story, so I consider this a top choice for a women's book club. I look forward to reading more by Elizabeth Haynes in the future. Have you read Into The Darkest Corner? If so, what did you think?