Sometimes your first love won’t let you go…
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…
The Fear was published by Avon on the 22nd March 2018. Many thanks to the publisher for inviting me on this blog tour and for my copy of the book for this review.
The Fear is another brilliantly uncomfortable read from C.L. Taylor! The author has tackled a deeply disturbing topic head on and the result is a fast-paced gripping novel!
The Fear is told in not only differing narrative voices but also in dual timelines (I do love a good dual timeline!) so we hear from various perspectives which gives the book a chilling edge as we understand motivations and feelings from the main characters.
Lou Wandsworth was caught up in a fairy tale where she got to be with the love of her life – in reality she was a school girl being manipulated and groomed by an older man in a position of trust who took her away from all her friends and family to France. Soon Mike showed his true colours and changed Lou’s life forever. Years later, Lou finds out that Mike is involved with another school girl, Chloe, and is determined to stop the same happening to her.
Amongst the voices we hear from, Chloe tells her side of the story with Mike and it truly makes you feel sick to the stomach – the authenticity of the narrative is extremely difficult to read. Underneath it all, Chloe is just a young girl who wants to be loved but it searching for it in completely the wrong place. Mike is a predator so identifies this vulnerability and completely abuses it. The reader also hears from Lou at that age and the similarities are uncanny therefore it is not surprising that Lou is determined to stop Mike from doing it again….by any lengths.
The Fear is dark, fast-paced and claustrophobic, it doesn’t not let up from the minute it starts! This is one of those books that you don’t want to read because of it’s subject but genuinely cannot put it down. The character development is brilliant – whilst, thank goodness, we don’t hear directly from Mike, his despicable nature comes through via his interaction with the other characters both past and present. He is most definitely a nasty piece of work! Lou is slightly unhinged (unsurprisingly) but so strong considering she is having to face her past in order to save Chloe from Mike’s clutches. For me, Wendy was my favourite character – she is a manipulative character out for her own means however she is strangely likeable. This is possibly due to the authors choice of alternative narratives so we get to hear from Wendy herself and understand her reasoning for her actions.
The Fear is an incredible read about revenge at any costs and the fear that arises from the facing the past head on. A fantastic, albeit uncomfortable read!
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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