Published: 23rd March 2017 (Avon)
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.
Holy moly, this is one creepy and chilling psychological thriller! This is the first book I’ve read from C.L. Taylor and I loved it, massive 5 stars from me. Not sure why it’s the first as I have The Missing and The Lie waiting patiently on the bookcase!
The Escape hooks you right from the start with Jo meeting who she initially believes to be a complete stranger however for a stranger she knows a lot, too much, about Jo, her husband Max and has an item of their 2-year-old daughter’s clothing – scary!
I wasn’t a massive fan of Jo as she seemed so accepting of everything that was going on around her without truly challenging anyone or anything – however I think this added to the tension as it wasn’t clear whether Jo was being a bit of a doormat with her paranoia in complete overdrive or whether there was something more sinister afoot. Either way, at times I wanted to shake her!
Jo is trying her best to protect Elise from, well who knows what! With the veiled threat from the stranger wanting a lift, the protective bubble that Jo has formed is rapidly deflating and she tries to run away. This novel flits between locations as Jo tries to find a place where she feels safe – difficult for someone suffering with agoraphobia and who has to know she always has an escape.
What is most terrifying about this book is the unknown – is it just Jo’s paranoia or is it more than that?! Throughout the book Jo has both supporters and those that are seemingly writing her off as crazy.
The Escape is fast paced and tension filled – just how I like my psychological thrillers. At times I felt a little uncomfortable reading it which, oddly, added to its pleasure!
This is a book of two halves; the first being confusion as to what the hell is going on, who is this stranger and what does she want? Followed by a second half of realisation; as the strands start to come together – and this is when Jo’s character comes into her own. Brilliantly plotted out.
A great psychological thriller centred around domestic noir which is well worthy of the attention it has been receiving. It is extremely well written with well-rounded (but not always likeable!) characters. The Escape uses the realism of the situation to create a terrifying read – highly recommended!
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. Her fourth psychological thriller, THE ESCAPE, will be published on 23 March 2017. She is currently writing her first young adult thriller, THE TREATMENT, which will be published in September 2017.
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