If you are looking for a dark and twisted thriller, I may just have the book for you. The Fear by C.L.Taylor was published by Avon on the 22nd March 2018, read on for my thoughts…
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…
There are a handful of authors books I would happily pick up without reading the book description and C.L. Taylor is one of them, she has the ability to turn a well used subject in fiction and turn it into the most twisted and extraordinary tale. The Fear is no different, Shocking, compelling, fraught with tension and guaranteed to keep you turning the pages as if your life depended on it.
Anyone who is a parent with a teenage girl will immediately be struck by a sense of unease when they pick up this book as it deals with the uncomfortable subject of a grooming, although it’s very much part of the plot it never felt unjustified and the author shows a great deal of sympathy and understanding towards the victims. Told from three POV Lou, teenager Chloe and the mysterious Wendy the author has an uncanny knack of breathing life into her characters so much so you feel their emotions and their pain but most importantly they are very credible. Lou and Chloe both take the same path, and “fall in love” with a predator, they are each at different points in their life, and yet they still share so many of the same emotions guilt, hatred and fear to name but a few.
Another character who deserves a mention is Mike how I detested him, he literally made my skin crawl. Poor Lou and Chloe both starved of affection and desperate for attention as children made them the perfect “victims” for Mike. It makes you realise how driven and manipulating pedophiles are in their pursuit of their prey, and how vulnerable girls are drawn into harmful relationships. What made this book an original read were the different characters perspectives of their relationship with Mike and the exploration of the after-mass of such damaging relationships and the complex emotions involved.
The second half of the book takes an ominous turn and I’m sure some readers may find this part of the book “far fetched” I just thought “who knows what we would do if we found ourself in a similar dilemma” so I was happy to go along with the direction C.L. Taylor took The Fear. The telling of Lou and Chloe’s story is imaginative, compelling and shocking, it’s a story that those who enjoy a book with moral dilemmas will find thought provoking, but at the same time a highly engrossing read. Highly recommended.
Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧
Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Avon (22 Mar. 2018)