Category Archives: C.L. Taylor

I’m back with a **Weekly Wrap Up**

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Well I’m back after nearly a two week break from social media and blogging (apart from the blog tour posts I already agreed to) and I must say its done me the world of good, no frantically trying to share and retweet posts, spending hours trawling through social media in fact it just reinforced to me how much time I spend on my iPad when I could be reading.

I worked Monday-Friday throughout the experiment and still managed to read, wait for it………..8 books and I’m half way through the 9th.……..yes the book review café has found her reading mojo and what a treasure trove of books I’ve read. Some of theses books are for blog tours in May, so I really achieved a lot in my two weeks off…… blog tour reviews, books that have been sat on my bookshelf that I’ve really wanted to read, and new to me authors. So I definitely feel a social media break every now and then works for me.

Books I read

Books I’ve bought

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Certain criminal cases have a life of their own. Despite the passage of years they continue their hold on the public imagination, either because of the personalities involved, the depravity of the crime, doubts over whether justice was done, or the tantalizing fact that no one was ever caught…

Now John Douglas, the foremost investigative analyst and criminal profiler of our time, turns his attention to eight of the greatest mysteries in the history of crime, including those of Jack the Ripper, The Boston Strangler and JonBenet Ramsey. Taking a fresh look at the established facts, Douglas and Olshaker dismantle the conventional wisdom regarding these most notorious of crimes and rebuild them – with astonishing results.

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1944. Physics professor Alfred Mendl is separated from his family and sent to the men’s camp, where all of his belongings are tossed on a roaring fire. His books, his papers, his life’s work. The Nazis have no idea what they have just destroyed. And without that physical record, Alfred is one of only two people in the world with his particular knowledge. Knowledge that could start a war, or end it.
Nathan Blum works behind a desk at an intelligence office in Washington, DC, but he longs to contribute to the war effort in a more meaningful way, and he has a particular skill set the U.S. suddenly needs. Nathan is fluent in German and Polish, he is Semitic looking, and he proved his scrappiness at a young age when he escaped from the Polish ghetto. Now, the government wants him to take on the most dangerous assignment of his life: Nathan must sneak into Auschwitz, on a mission to find and escape with one man.

The One Man, a historical thriller from New York Times bestseller Andrew Gross, is a deeply affecting, unputdownable series of twists and turns through a landscape at times horrifyingly familiar but still completely compelling.

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TWO GIRLS GO TO A PARTY, ONLY ONE RETURNS ALIVE
Toni, the surviving teenager, is found delirious, wandering the muddy fields. She has been drugged and it’s uncertain whether she’ll survive. She says she saw her friend Emily being dragged away from the party. But no one knows who Emily is or even if she’s still alive. . .
Meanwhile the drowned body of another girl has been found on an isolated beach.
And how does this all relate to the shocking disappearance of a little girl nearly a decade ago, a crime which was never solved? The girl’s mother is putting immense pressure on the police to re-open the high-profile case.

EACH ONE OF THEM IS SOMEONE’S DAUGHTER AND THE POLICE MUST GIVE THEIR FAMILIES JUSTICE AND CLOSURE

DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evansof the Fenland police are stretched to the limit as they try to bring the perpetrators of these shocking crimes to justice.
There is evidence of an illegal drinking club run by a shadowy group of men, who are grooming teenagers. And the team come across a sinister former hospital called Windrush which seems to house many dark secrets.
Full of twists and turns, this is a crime thriller that will keep you turning the pages until the shocking ending.

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The past is never far away.

Michael Tate has not had an easy life. With his father in prison, and his mother dead, Michael was sent to Woodside Children’s Home.

Now an adult, Michael wakes up in hospital from a coma suffering from amnesia and paralysis. Confused and terrified, he is charged with the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend, Becky. He also learns he attempted to end his own life.

Detective Inspector John Carver is determined that Michael is sent to prison.

With no way of defending himself, Michael is left in his hospital bed awaiting transfer to remand.

But then strange things begin to happen and his childhood comes back to haunt him.

Can Michael ever escape the past?

Will he ever discover the truth about Becky’s murder?

And why is DI Carver so eager to make him suffer?

I couldn’t resist adding Remember Me by Lynda Renham to my TBR pile after reading Jo’s fabulous review for this book over at https://mychestnutreadingtree.wordpress.com

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A new neighbour becomes a new friend. She looks up to you. She admires you, but is it you she wants? You begin to wonder if she wants your husband, or even your child. But then you realise, she wants your life.

When Sharni and Tom move into 24 The Pines, it seems like Clare and Chris have the perfect neighbours. Sharni is always there to help, especially with childcare for Clare’s two-year-old, Ben. But Clare can’t shake off the feelings of anxiety that assail her whenever Sharni is near. Is Clare just being overprotective, or are her feelings justified? As Sharni‘s influence touches everyone around her, Clare finds herself fighting for her sanity as well her family.

ARC’s I’ve received

Last week on the book review café

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/14/blog-tour-the-escape-by-c-l-taylor-review-authorinterview-callytaylor-helenasheffield/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/16/blog-tour-last-breath-by-robert-bryndza-bookreview-bookouture-robertbryndza/

Next week on the book review café

Cover reveal and a fabulous Giveaway The Art Of Fear by Pamela Crane

**Blog tour** Sleep Tight by the awesome Caroline Mitchell

The Abattoir Of Dreams by Mark Tilbury #Review

Dead Souls by Angela Marsons #Review

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton #Review

**Blog Tour** The Escape by C.L. Taylor #Review #AuthorInterview @callytaylor @HelenaSheffield

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Today I’m thrilled to be the next stop on The Escape by C.L. Taylor blog tour, and my god I absolutely loved this psychological thriller, I’ve always enjoyed this authors books, but without doubt this is definitely her best book yet. The Escape was published by Avon in March so you don’t even have to wait to get yourselves a copy of this gripping book.

You can read my review further down this post, but first I have an exclusive Q & A with C.L. Taylor which I’m so excited to share with you all.

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Hi Cally I’m so excited to have you on my blog so welcome to The Book Review Café Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Thank you for having me! My name is Cally Taylor and I live in Bristol with my partner and son. I started my writing career writing romantic comedies as Cally Taylor then, when I was on maternity leave with my son I had an idea for a psychological thriller. That book was The Accident and I have now written four psychological thrillers for Avon HarperCollins and I’m contracted to write three more. My second psychological thriller The Lie has been optioned for TV by The Forge who produced National Treasure featuring Robbie Coltrane. In addition to The Escape which was published in March I also have a young adult thriller The Treatment which will be published by HarperCollins HQ in September.

For those readers who haven’t yet heard of you or your book The Escape can you provide us with an introduction?
The Escape is about a woman called Jo Blackmore who lives in Bristol with her partner Max and their two year old daughter Elise. Jo suffers from agoraphobia and her life is filled with anxiety and fear. One day, when she’s about to get into her car, a stranger asks her for a lift. The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband and she got a glove belonging to Elise. Feeling threatened Jo turns to her husband for support but Max is dismissive. He’s seen Jo overreact to situations before. Jo tries to forget about what happened but the stranger has other ideas. She thinks that Max has something that belongs to her and she won’t stop hounding the Blackmore’s until she gets it back…

Where did the idea for The Escape come from?
I got the idea for The Escape from a local news story. I follow Avon and Somerset Constabulary on Facebook and noticed an update asking for help finding a woman who’d gone on the run with her young son instead of turning up at court to hand over residency of him. As members of the public commented that they’d look out for her the woman’s family told them not to. They said she wasn’t a danger to her son, she was actually protecting him by running away. That made me wonder how I’d feel if I had to go on the run to keep my child safe.

What made you decide to have all the titles of your book begin with “The”?

I didn’t! My title for my first psychological thriller was An End to Silence but my publisher felt that The Accident would be more impactful. The book sold so well that, when it came time to name my second book, my publisher suggested we stick with ‘The…’ title and that book became The Lie. Now all of my books have ‘The…’ titles!

How did you research material for The Escape?

The Escape is my most heavily researched book to date. It took me three months of research before I wrote a word. I talked to a GP, a social worker, a family lawyer, an IT specialist, a journalist and an expert in Irish policing. I also travelled across to Ireland to research locations for the second part of the book and went to dinner with two Irish blogger who answered my questions about life in Ireland now and in the 1980s.

Do you have any strange writing habits or rituals?

I have to have warm feet when I’m writing so I keep a pair of skiing socks close by. I also have a soundtrack to each novel I write. I can’t write to lyrics so will pick an instrumental or film soundtrack album that matches the mood of the novel then I’ll play it on a loop each time I sit down to write. I sometimes have a scented candle burning too (different for each book).

My favourite character in The Escape has to be Jo, Who was your favourite character to write about?

I loved Jo but she was exhausting to write because she’s so anxious all the time and you have to channel the emotions that your character is feeling. I really enjoyed writing Max as I wrote him in the third person and that’s the first time I’ve used that point of view in one of my novels.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being an author?

The emails from authors telling me that one of my novels made them fall in love with reading again, or even that one of my books has ignited a love of reading. When people tell me that they’ve never finished a book before or they normally struggle to read but they sped through one of my books it’s the biggest compliment I could ever be given. Reading those emails always makes me feel very emotional.

On the other side, what would you say is the most challenging part of writing?

Sitting down to write when you’re not in the mood or when you know you’ve got a difficult scene to tackle. At times like those I wish I could magic the words out of my head and onto the screen.

Who is/are your favourite author/authors? What is it that draws you, as a reader, to certain books?
My favourite author as a child was Enid Blyton. Her Magic Faraway Tree series so was so magical it fired my imagination. As an adult I’m a big fan of George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, Maggie O’Farrell, Belinda Bauer, Mark Edwards and Tammy Cohen. I’m not sure what it is that draws me to certain books – it’s normally a writer’s style or voice that draws me in first, then it’s their storytelling ability (they have to write a page turner) and then there’s the subject matter. I’ve always been drawn to dystopian novels which explains George Orwell and Margaret Atwood and I enjoyed the Hunger Games series too.

Are you able to tell me anything about your next book?

My next book is actually my debut YA thriller THE TREATMENT. I recently completed the edits and it’s due to be published by HarperCollins HQ in September 2017. It’s about a young woman called Drew who tries to rescue her younger brother from being brainwashed at a remote residential reform school in Northumberland. In April I’m due to start my fifth psychological thriller for Avon but, as I haven’t written a word, I can’t tell you about that yet!

And lastly can you describe yourself in five words?
Tall, tired, creative, determined, introvert.

My Thanks to Cally Taylor for taking time out of her hectic schedule to answer my questions.

img_1639C.L. Taylor is the Sunday Times bestselling author of four gripping psychological thrillers: THE ACCIDENT, THE LIE, THE MISSING and THE ESCAPE. Her books have sold in excess of a million copies, been translated into over 20 languages and have been shortlisted for three Dead Good Books awards. THE LIE has been optioned for TV by The Forge who produced National Treasure featuring Robbie Coltrane.

Cally Taylor was born in Worcester and spent her early years living in various army camps in the UK and Germany. She studied Psychology at the University of Northumbria and went on forge a career in instructional design and e-Learning before leaving to write full time in 2014.

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Links:

http://www.callytaylor.co.uk
http://writing-about-writing.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/CallyTaylorAuthor

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Book description

“Look after your daughter’s things. And your daughter…”

When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn’t. The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband Max and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her. No one believes that Elise is in danger.

img_1258It’s not very often it happens but The Escape by C L Taylor left me with a serious book hangover, I picked up this book thinking I would just read the first couple of chapters, BIG MISTAKE as three hours later I reached the final page in this addictive psychological thriller. There are a huge number of books in this genre so for me the difference between a good psychological thriller and an outstanding one is the authors ability to mess with my head, a plot that contains suspense and “edge of your seat moments” and C L Taylor manages this and so much more with this addictive novel.

The author presents the reader with an unreliable narrator in the shape of Jo Blackmore, a young mother whose behaviour becomes increasingly erratic, she’s neurotic, has panic attacks and she’s paranoid. Unreliable narrators are one of my favourite types of characters and so I was immediately drawn to her tale, unpredictable she also appears to be losing her grip on reality so you are never quite sure what to believe. When she is threatened by a young woman Jo’s life begins to unravel in the most spectacular fashion. You cannot help questioning is what Jo going through real?, is she really in danger? Or is she misinterpreting events? I found I became totally immersed in Jo’s tale, her sense of fear is palatable from the first chapter and this grows as the plot progresses. It’s a disturbing yet believable study of family, lies, and deception and the overwhelming need to “Escape” from the harsh realities of life.

The chapters told in the voice of an unknown narrator add a sense of malice and danger to the tale, and it was these chapters that completely threw me. In fact when I finished reading The Escape I went back and re-read them, a very clever and deceiving ploy by the author I have to say. Wickedly told and fast paced this is definitely one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read this year. C L Taylor delivers the most deliciously devious plot that will throw the reader at every twisted turn, even the most hardened psychological thrillers readers will struggle to put this one down. In my opinion C L Taylor’s writing goes from strength to strength, each of her books is worthy of high praise but The Escape is definitely my favourite so far and I’m already excited to see if her next book can beat this truly gripping read.

Print Length: 433 pages

Publisher: Avon (23 Mar. 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸

If you want to read further reviews on this gripping book, you may want to check out some of my fellow bloggers posts…..
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**Weekly Wrap Up**

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Another good week for reading I read four books this week, unfortunately I spent another week in terrible pain, but fingers crossed the medication finally seems to be helping and I’m hoping to return to work tomorrow. This is going to be a short wrap up basically because I forgot to write one until late last night 😂😂

The Escape by C.L. Taylor

Blood Mother by Dreda Say Mitchell

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens

Evie’s Year Of Taking Chances by Christie Barlow

No book post at all this week, and although I’ve missed that satisfying sound “thud” of  book post landing on the mat it does mean I haven’t added to my TBR pile.

Again I failed at keeping away from NetGalley, but only because Bookouture put this little beauty on NetGalley and the book description sounds so intriguing

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Description
Lizzy pulled the covers over her head. Then she realised what was being dragged behind the person with the torch. She rammed her fist into her mouth to stop herself from screaming…

For decades, The Moore Asylum was home to the forgotten children of Brooklyn Bay. But ever since a scandal forced its closure, the abandoned building has cast an imposing shadow. Until now – when an elderly man is found dead, his body strapped to an ancient gurney…

Detective Lucy Harwin, still reeling from a previous case that ended in the devastating murder of a mother and her child, finds herself on the trail of a killer ruthlessly fixated on avenging the asylum’s wrongs.

What disturbing secrets lie within the asylum’s walls? Together with her partner Detective Mattie Jackson, Lucy begins to unearth its terrible history, and the horrors endured by the vulnerable children.

As the attacks escalate and a woman is murdered on her own doorstep, Lucy is forced into a terrifying game of cat and mouse with a twisted individual. But can Lucy stop a murderer with nothing left to lose?

Last week on the book review café

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/03/top-five-friday-with-the-book-review-cafe-psychological-thrillers/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/02/topfivethursday-with-bookblogger-jessica-aka-jessicasreadingroom/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/01/book-of-the-month-february-2017/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/02/28/the-roanoke-girls-by-amy-engel-bookreview-emilykitchin/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/02/27/the-caller-by-chris-carter-book-review/

Next week on the book review café

**Blog Tour** The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt

Evie’s Year Of Taking Chances by Christie Barlow- review

**Blog Tour** Dead Embers by Matt Brolly

The Promise by Casey Kelleher- review

My Top Five Friday

And that’s it folks I told you it would be a short post  😀😀

 

**Weekly Wrap Up**

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I’ve only managed to read one book this week, so not great I’m afraid. I think now I’m working Monday-Friday I’m not going to have the time to read so much, but this will hopefully improve once I’ve got into the swing of things. As for the job I’m really enjoying it, it’s very different to anything I’ve ever done before but I’m loving the new challenge and feeling so much happier. Thank you to all the awesome bloggers who left me messages on last weeks post I’m sure all your positive words helped 😘

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I read the Top Secret book I mentioned last week, my lips remain firmly sealed 🤐, but OMG I loved it.

ARC’s I received this week

I received three books in the post this week, and a fourth from NetGalley, yes I know I said I wasn’t going to request any books and I haven’t, I requested The Doll Funeral ages ago and forgot all about it until the publishers accepted my request this week out the blue, so not entirely my fault and I haven’t requested any books for a whole two weeks a personal record for me, long may it last.😂

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Book description

Just before dawn in the hills near the Scottish border, a man murders a young woman. At the same time, a hot-air balloon crashes out of the sky. There’s just one survivor.

She’s seen the killer’s face – but he’s also seen hers. And he won’t rest until he’s eliminated the only witness to his crime.

Alone, scared, trusting no one, she’s running to where she feels safe – but it could be the most dangerous place of all . . .

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Book description

When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn’t.

The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband Max and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her.

No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there’s only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.

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Book description

2001. Age is catching up with Robert Finlay, a police officer on the Royalty Protection team based in London. He’s looking forward to returning to uniform policing and a less stressful life with his new family. But fate has other plans. Finlay’s deeply traumatic, carefully concealed past is about to return to haunt him. A policeman is killed by a bomb blast, and a second is gunned down in his own driveway.

Both of the murdered men were former Army colleagues from Finlay’s own SAS regiment, and in a series of explosive events, it becomes clear that he is not the ordinary man that his colleagues, friends and new family think he is. And so begins a game of cat and mouse “a wicked game” in which Finlay is the target, forced to test his long-buried skills in a fight against a determined and unidentified enemy.

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Book description

The dark and glittering new novel from the Sunday Times Bestselling author Kate Hamer is as gripping as it is gorgeously written – the perfect second book from the author of The Girl in the Red Coat.

My name is Ruby. I live with Barbara and Mick. They’re not my real parents, but they tell me what to do, and what to say. I’m supposed to say that the bruises on my arms and the black eye came from falling down the stairs.

But there are things I won’t say. I won’t tell them I’m going to hunt for my real parents. I don’t say a word about Shadow, who sits on the stairs, or the Wasp Lady I saw on the way to bed.

I did tell Mick that I saw the woman in the buttercup dress, hanging upside down from her seat belt deep in the forest at the back of our house. I told him I saw death crawl out of her. He said he’d give me a medal for lying.

I wasn’t lying. I’m a hunter for lost souls and I’m going to be with my real family. And I’m not going to let Mick stop me.

A special mention

My thanks to Karen at http://www.orendabooks.co.uk, for my stunning hardback signed copy of Rupture by Ragnar Jónasson which I won over on David’s blog http://bluebookballoon.blogspot.com/ so a huge thank  you to David too.

Last week on the book review café

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/02/08/new-beginnings/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/02/08/blog-tour-backstabber-by-kimberley-chambers-kimbochambers-fictionpubteam-bookreview/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/02/07/a-room-full-of-killers-by-michael-wood-bookreview-michaelhwood-killerreads/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/02/06/phantom-limb-by-lucinda-berry-bookreview-bookshelfreads/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/02/10/blog-tour-the-watcher-by-netta-newbound-guestpost-nettanewbound-bloodhoundbook/

**Blogger Recognition Award** | The Book Review Café
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/02/11/blogger-recognition-award/

Next week on the book review café

**Blog tour** Stasi Wolf by David Young

**Blog tour** No Safe Home by Tara Lyons

Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner review

**Blog Tour** Blink by K L Slater

#TopFiveThursday

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Thank you to everyone who nominated me for this awesome award.  I’m absolutely stunned that so many fellow bloggers nominated me in their posts. I think anyone who runs a book blog deserves this award for all their hard work, so if you haven’t been tagged in this award consider yourself nominated let’s share the blogger ❤

**Cover Reveal** The Escape by C.L.Taylor @CallyTaylor @HelenaSheffield

**Squeals with delight” Tonight I’m super excited to be one of the bloggers doing a cover reveal for the super talented C.L.Taylor, whose books I just happen to love, and looking at the book cover and description The Escape is one book that will be going straight on my “wish list” for 2017, so without further ado and a drum roll I can now share the very intriguing book cover for The Escape……

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Don’t you just love it? and here’s the book description to whet your appetite and the pre-order link 

PUBLISHES: 23RD March 2017

Book description 

The Sunday Times bestseller and No.1 Kindle bestseller returns…

“Look after your daughter’s things. And your daughter…”

When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn’t.

The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband Max and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her.

No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there’s only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.

You can pre-order this title here at: Amazon UK

What other authors have to say about C.L. Taylor’s books 

‘Kept me guessing all the way through to the brilliant end. This story of a mother trying to hold her family’s lives together whilst desperately searching for her missing son, had me gripped, unsettled, wrong-footed and ultimately hugely satisfied’
Amanda Jennings, author of IN HER WAKE

 

‘WOW. Her best one yet! Absolutely could not put it down – brilliant!’ Lucy Diamond

“Dark, utterly gripping and had me ripping through the pages.”
Jenny Blackhurst
Author of HOW I LOST YOU

 

“C.L. Taylor is the Queen of Just-One-More-Chapter Lit. I devoured this compelling novel about the secrets and lies at the dark heart of family life.”
Tammy Cohen
Author of FIRST ONE MISSING

 

“Another winner from the hugely talented CL Taylor. The Missing is clever, twisty and a joy to read. The ending took my breath away.”
Mark Edwards
Author of FOLLOW YOU HOME

 

‘Secrets and lies within a family can be devious as well as heartbreaking. The Missing explores these themes brilliantly – a dark and gripping read that engrossed me from start to finish’
Mel Sherratt, author of THE ESTATE series

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CL Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and young son. She studied for a degree in Psychology at the University of Northumbria, Newcastle and has worked as a sales administrator, web developer, instructional designer and as the manager of a distance learning team at a London university. She now writes full time.

CL Taylor’s first psychological thriller THE ACCIDENT was one of the top ten bestselling debut novels of 2014 according to The Bookseller. Her second and third novels, THE LIE and THE MISSING, were Sunday Times Bestsellers and #1 Amazon Kindle chart bestsellers. She is currently writing her fourth psychological thriller which will be published in April 2017.

Sign up to join the CL Taylor Book Club for access to news, updates and information that isn’t available on the web, as well as exclusive newsletter-only competitions and giveaways and the books that CL Taylor thinks will be the next big thing:

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Links: Cally Taylor Book Club      Website     Instagram     Twitter      Facebook

 

**Blog Tour** The Missing by C. L. Taylor including extract

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Today I am super excited to be hosting the next stop on the blog tour for The Missing by C. L. Taylor, this is her third psychology thriller, and I think it’s her best book yet. You can read an excerp from The Missing and my review further down the post. Many thanks to Helena over at Avon books and C. L. Taylor for letting me be part of this blog tour.

Book description

When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, his mother, Claire, blames herself. She’s not the only one. There isn’t a single member of Billy’s family that doesn’t feel guilty. But the Wilkinsons are so used to keeping secrets from one another that it isn’t until six months later, after an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the truth begins to surface.

Claire is sure of two things – that Billy is still alive and that her friends and family had nothing to do with his disappearance.

A mother’s instinct is never wrong. Or is it?

Sometimes those closest to us are the ones with the most to

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From chapter 2 of The Missing

‘Jake, give me that!’ Kira’s screech carries down the stairs and there’s a loud thump from the bedroom above as something, or someone, hits the floor.

I kick off Jake’s shoes and take the stairs two at a time, cross the landing and fly into his bedroom without stopping to knock. There’s a flurry of activity as Kira and Jake jump away from each other. Barely five foot tall with blonde hair that falls past her shoulders, Kira looks tiny and doll-like in her pink knickers and a tight white T-shirt. Jake is bare-chested, naked apart from a pair of black jockey shorts that cling to his hips. His shoulders and chest are so broad and muscled he seems to fill the room. At his feet is a shattered bottle leaking pale brown liquid onto the beige carpet. There are shards of glass on the pile of weights plates beside it.

‘Mum!’ Jake leaps away from Kira, planting his right foot on the broken bottle. He howls in anguish as a shard of clear glass embeds itself in his sole.

‘Don’t!’ I shout, but he’s already yanked it out. Bright red blood gushes out, covering his fingers and dripping onto the carpet.

‘Don’t move!’ I sprint to the bathroom and grab the first towel I see. When I return to the bedroom Jake is sitting on the bed, one hand gripping his ankle, the other pressed over the wound. Blood seeps between his fingers. Kira, still standing in the centre of the room, is ashen. I pick my way carefully through the broken glass on the floor, then crouch on the carpet in front of Jake. It stinks of alcohol.

‘Let go.’

He winces as he peels his fingers away from his foot. The wound isn’t more than half a centimetre across but it’s deep and blood is still gushing out. I wrap the towel as tightly around it as I can in an attempt to stem the flow.

‘Hold it here.’ I gesture for Jake to press his hands over the towel. ‘I need to get a safety pin.’

Seconds later I’m back in the bedroom and attempting to secure the makeshift bandage around my son’s foot. There are dark circles under his eyes and the skin is pulled too tight over his cheekbones. Mark and I weren’t the only ones who didn’t sleep last night.

‘What happened, Jake?’ I ask carefully.

He looks past me to Kira who is pulling on some clothes. Her lips part and, for a second, I think she’s about to speak but then she lowers her eyes and wrig­gles into her jeans. Downstairs the back door opens with a thud as Mark makes his way back into the house, then there’s a click-click sound as he paces back­wards and forwards on the kitchen tiles. In a minute he’ll be up the stairs, asking what the hold-up is.

I sniff at Jake. His breath smells pungent. ‘Were you drinking that rum before I came in?’

‘Mum!’

‘Well? Were you?’

‘I had a few last night, that’s all.’

‘And then some.’ I pluck a large piece of glass from the carpet. Most of the label is still affixed. ‘What the hell were you thinking?’

‘I’m stressed, okay?’

‘I haven’t got enough for a taxi,’ Kira says plain­tively, reaching into her jeans pocket and proffering a palm of small change.

‘Claire?’ Mark’s voice booms up the stairs. ‘It’s eight o’clock. We have to go. Now!’

‘I need to leave,’ Kira says. ‘There’s a college trip to London today – we’re going to the National Portrait Gallery – and I’m supposed to be at the train station for half eight.’

‘Okay, okay.’ I gesture for her to stop panicking. ‘Give me a sec.’

‘Mark?’ I step out onto the landing and shout down the stairs. ‘Have you got any cash on you?’

‘About three quid,’ he shouts back. ‘Why?’

‘Doesn’t matter.’

‘Right.’ I step back into Jake’s bedroom. ‘Kira, I’ll give you a lift to the train station. And as for you, Jake . . .’ There’s no blood on the towel I’ve pinned around his foot but he’ll still need the wound to be cleaned and a tetanus jab. If there was time I’d drop Kira at the station and then take Jake to the doctor’s but it would mean doubling back on myself and I can’t be late for the appeal. Why did this have to happen today of all days?

‘Okay.’ I make a snap decision. ‘Jake, stay here and sober up and I’ll drive you to the GP’s when I get back. If you need anything, Liz is next door. She’s not working until later.’

‘No, I’m coming with you. I need to go to the press conference.’ Jake grimaces as he pushes himself up and off the bed and hops onto his good foot so we’re face to face. Unlike Billy who shot up when he hit twelve, Jake’s height has never crept above five foot nine. The boys couldn’t have an argument without Billy slipping in some sly jab about his older broth­er’s stature. Jake would retaliate and then World War III would break out.

‘Claire!’ Mark shouts again, louder this time. He’ll fly off the handle if he sees the state Jake is in. ‘Claire! DS Forbes is here. We need to go!’

‘You’re not going anywhere,’ I hiss at Jake as Kira pulls an apologetic face and squeezes past me. She presses herself up against the linen cupboard on the landing, pulls on her coat and then roots around in the pockets.

‘Billy was my brother,’ Jake says. His face crumples and for a split second he looks like a child again, but then a tendon in his neck pulses and he raises his chin. ‘You can’t stop me from going.’

‘You’ve been drinking,’ I say as levelly as I can. ‘If you want to help Billy, then the best thing you can do right now is stay at home and sleep it off. We’ll talk when I get back.’

‘Claire!’ Mark shouts from the top of the stairs.

‘Mum . . .’ Jake reaches a hand towards me but I’m already halfway out the door. I yank it shut behind me, just as Mark draws level.

‘Is Jake ready?’

‘He’s not well.’ I press my palms against the door.

‘What’s wrong with him?’

‘Stomach upset,’ Kira says, her soft voice cutting through the awkward pause. ‘He was up all night with it. It must have been the vindaloo.’

I shoot her a grateful look. Poor girl, getting caught up in our family drama when the very reason she moved in with us was to escape from her own.

Mark glances at the closed door behind me, then his eyes meet mine. ‘Are we off then?’

‘I need to drop Kira at the train station for her college trip. You go on ahead with DS Forbes and I’ll meet you there.’

‘How’s that going to look? The two of us turning up separately?’ Mark looks at Kira. ‘Why didn’t you mention this trip last—’ He sighs. ‘Never mind. Forget it. I’ll see you there, Claire.’

He hasn’t changed his trousers. The greasy oil stain is still visible, a dark mark on his left thigh, but I haven’t got the heart to mention it.

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About C. L. Taylor

CL Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and young son. Born in Worcester, she studied for a degree in Psychology at the University of Northumbria, Newcastle then moved to London to work in medical publishing as a sales administrator. After two years she moved to Brighton where she worked as a graphic designer, web developer and instructional designer over the course of 13 years. She now writes full time.

CL Taylor’s first psychological thriller The Accident  was one of the top ten bestselling debut novels of 2014 according to The Bookseller. Her second novel, The Lie  charted at number 5 in the Sunday Times Bestsellers list. Combined sales of both novels have now exceeded half a million copies in the UK alone.

Her international bestselling romantic comedies (written as Cally Taylor), HEAVEN CAN WAIT and HOME FOR CHRISTMAS were both published by Orion in the UK. They have been translated into 14 different languages, and her debut was voted ‘Debut Novel of the Year’ by chicklitreviews.com and chicklitclub.com.

Sign up to join the CL Taylor Book Club for access to news, updates and information that isn’t available on the web, as well as exclusive newsletter-only competitions and giveaways and the books that CL Taylor thinks will be the next big thing:

Cally Taylor book club link

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Links to Cally Taylor 

Website      Twitter    Facebook

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The Missing is the latest psychological thriller by C. L. Taylor, and oh my god! From the first page I was totally gripped, it’s gritty and very realistic.The Missing starts 6 months after fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, Claire the mother blames herself. She’s not the only one. There isn’t a single member of Billy’s family that doesn’t feel guilty. But the Wilkinson’s are so used to keeping secrets from one another that it isn’t until an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the truth begins to surface.

As a mother myself I couldn’t even begin to imagine the pain of loosing a child, especially not knowing what had happened to them. Thanks to C.L. Taylor’s superb construction of characters, I felt Claire’s every emotion anger, helplessness, suspicion and heartbreak at the situation she found herself in. As the story unfolds each member of the family has reason to feel guilty regarding Billy’s disappearance, and each have secret’s they would prefer to keep hidden. This makes for a very believable read, as the story doesn’t present you with the “perfect” family, Claire and her husband aren’t the perfect parents, are any of us? We try our best, but can we truly know our children as they gain their independence? Are our children as perfect as we would like to think they are? These are all questions that are explored as the plot unravels the family strand by strand, making for a tense and at times an uncomfortable read.

The story is told mostly from Claire’s point of view and at times I found her narrative unreliable, as she starts to doubt herself and other members of her family, but this only adds to the tension of the plot. Throughout The Missing we read What’s App messages between two people, each one becomes darker and more intense and you find yourself suspecting numerous characters throughout the book, and the reasons behind them. The Missing is the ultimate psychological thriller as it contains all the elements you would expect in this genre, it messes, with your head and emotions, it’s gripping with just enough twist and turns to build on the tension, with an intricately woven plot. C.L Taylor has written another high caliber psychological thriller that will keep readers wanting more from this very talented author.

5☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️ out of 5

Paperback: 400 pages

Publisher: Avon (7 April 2016)

Kindle

Paperback

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***WWW Wednesday***

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It’s WWW Wednesday time again
The WWW Wednesdays meme is currently hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Check out Sam’s blog here  and is a great way to do a weekly update on what you’ve been reading and what you have planned.

To take part all you have to do is answer the following three questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Psycho:Sanitarium by Chet Williamson

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Book description

The legendary Norman Bates returns…
The original Psycho novel by Robert Bloch was published in 1959 and became an instant hit, leading to the classic Alfred Hitchcock film a year later. Norman Bates’s terrifying story has been seared in the public consciousness ever since.

It took Bloch 23 years to write another Psycho novel, revealing that Norman had been in a mental institution the entire time. But what happened in that asylum during those two decades?

Until now, no one has known. It’s 1960. Norman Bates is in the State Hospital for the Criminally Insane and it’s up to Dr. Felix Reed to bring him out of his catatonic state. Dr. Reed must face both twisted patients and colleagues who think of the institution as a prison rather than a place of healing. And the greatest obstacle is the building itself, once a private sanitarium, rumoured to be haunted.

A delicate peace is disturbed by the arrival of Robert Newman, Norman’s twin brother, taken away at birth after a doctor pronounced him brain damaged. As Robert and Norman grow to know each other, Norman senses a darkness in Robert, perhaps even deeper than that which has lurked in Norman himself.

Publisher: Canelo (12 April 2016)

Kindle

What did you recently finish reading?

The Missing by C.L. Taylor

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Book description

You love your family. They make you feel safe. You trust them.

But should you…?

When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, his mother, Claire, blames herself. She’s not the only one. There isn’t a single member of Billy’s family that doesn’t feel guilty. But the Wilkinson’s are so used to keeping secrets from one another that it isn’t until six months later, after an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the truth begins to surface.

Claire is sure of two things – that Billy is still alive and that her friends and family had nothing to do with his disappearance.

A mother’s instinct is never wrong. Or is it?

Sometimes those closest to us are the ones with the most to hide…

Publisher: Avon (7 April 2016)

Kindle

What do you think you’ll read next?

See How They Run by Tom Bale 

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Book description

How far would you go to save your family?

In the dead of night, new parents Alice and Harry French are plunged into their worst nightmare when they wake to find masked men in their bedroom. Men ruthless enough to threaten their baby daughter, Evie.

This is no burglary gone wrong.
The intruders know who they’re looking for – a man called Edward Renshaw.
And they are prepared to kill to get to him.

When the men leave empty handed, little do Alice and Harry realise that their nightmare is just beginning. Is it a case of mistaken identity? Who is Renshaw? And what is he hiding?

One thing is clear – they already know too much.

As Alice and Harry are separated in the run for their lives, there is no time for breathe in their fight to be reunited. And with their attackers closing in, there is only a choice:

Publisher: Bookouture (6 May 2016)

Kindle

Please feel free to leave a comment about the books you are reading this week