Thursday, 26 April 2018

Book Review: THE FEAR by C.L. Taylor

Title: The Fear
Author: C. L. Taylor
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Read: April 2018
Expected publication: out now

Book Description:

When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.

Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.

But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey…

My musings:

I can never say no to a good psychological thriller, so when C L Taylor’s new book started popping up on social media I absolutely had to read it. And it lived up to all my hopes! Here we have all the hallmarks of a gripping story that had me hooked from the start. A creepy predator – check. A crime in the past linked to the present – check. A flawed and damaged, but ultimately likeable and plucky heroine – check! A multi-layered plot that plays out over two separate timeframes – check! There are plenty of twists and surprises in store as well, and emotional triggers that will make sure that no reader can escape without some visceral responses to certain scenes described.

The most difficult part of reviewing a mystery is the fear of giving something away that will spoil the surprise for other readers, so I will leave this one very short and sweet. The blurb really tells you all you need to know about the story itself, except that there is a third, intriguing character (Wendy) who drives part of the narrative and whose role is not immediately obvious. This offers a whole new angle to what you may think is a straight-forward plot that has been done many times before. I particularly enjoyed the dynamics between the three different female leads, who each offer their own unique circumstances, strengths and vulnerabilities to the story. This is also one of the few books where excerpts from a diary work well and ratchet up the tension and emotional involvement a few notches.

As things begin to spiral out of control, these women will come into their own, in whatever part they are playing in the story. Taylor’s interest in abnormal and criminal psychology is evident in the believable way she portrays not only her villain, but also those whose lives have been affected by him, to the point where it is impossible to disengage from the story. This is a page-tuner, so allow plenty of time for it! There was a little element that required suspending disbelief, but I thought that the final little twist was so clever that it was worth the effort.

If you enjoy a good mystery, then I recommend you put this one on your TBR list! 

Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins Australia for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.

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