The Escape by C. L. Taylor

theescapeSynopsis

“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.

Review

I’ve read all of C. L. Taylor’s books and have adored them all so naturally I was excited to read this one. I was met with an exciting and puzzling read, that surprisingly even had sort of a sense of cosiness at times. This moved at a fast pace at the start, but at the middle it settled to a nice steady rhythm, which is not a bad thing, it relaxed me and was the calm before the storm, before the naturally emotional and highly charged conclusion to the story.
 
As I have come to expect, the writing is easy to read and once started you have the conflicting feelings of never wanting the book to end, but also the desperation to know what exactly is going on. The first half of the book is set in Bristol where Jo meets Paula for the first time and the chain of events starts. While I understand why Jo was scared, there was something in the back of my mind if she was just being paranoid and mis-understood or mis-construed what Paula was saying. I wanted to trust her, and the other strange goings on certainly pointed towards her being truthful, but at the same time, there were other signs that even before the Paula meeting that she was a bit over protective of her daughter. As soon as I did doubt her though, there was a chapter from Paula’s point of view that put a damper on my doubts, only for them to be re-ignited again on the next Jo chapter.
 
Overall though I did like Jo, She clearly adored Elise and it was her motherly love that did keep me on her side. After she escapes with Elise, we are treated to the calmer portion of the book. The setting in a small village in Ireland seems peaceful and idillic. It lulled you into a sense of security, that you know isn’t going to last. Mary, the Irish B&B owner is such a lovely character, hurting from a past tragedy, but along with Ben** is the source of warmth and cosiness you get from the book. This is stark contrast to Bristol where Jo lied with her husband, who was nice, but a bit too nice at times, almost patronising.
 
This book is another great read from the author. There was a great contrast in settings and atmosphere which of course added to the sense of foreboding that you knew was bound to come in the end.
 
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Published by: Avon
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
 
 
 

The Missing by C. L. Taylor

themissingSynopsis

You love your family. They make you feel safe. You trust them. Or do you…?
When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, his mother, Claire Wilkinson, 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?

Review

Having loved C L Taylor’s previous 2 psychological thrillers, this one was one of my most anticipated releases this year, so it was the obvious thing to start it the instant it had finished downloading onto my kindle and pretty much couldn’t stop from there on in.
The writing is as fantastic as ever, it lures you in and keeps you captivated, eager to find out more and confirm if your suspicions were correct. It was a compulsion to know not just for Claire and her family’s sake, but for my own sanity. I couldn’t finish this book fast enough, though at the same time, I was sad when it was over.
The premise of the book is obviously terrifying to any parent, and you really get inside of Claire’s head. Feeling frustration, anguish and at times helplessness as she continues to try to keep her family together, while at the same time dealing with her own problems that are occurring.
Claire was actually pretty perfect. Sometimes with psychological thrillers I find it hard to relate to the main character and couldn’t connect with them, but that is far from the case here. She is so nice, there aren’t many parents that would allow Kira, their son’s girlfriend to move in with them at just 18-19 years of age, and while there were difficult circumstances, it was still really understanding of her and Mark to invite her in, and she really seems to care for her and welcome her in, mindful of Kira’s personal space too. I guess my only criticism about Claire, is that she seemed a bit clueless about what was going on around her in the time leading up to Billy’s disappearance, but at the same time, I imagine anyone would be any better, so I can’t say that it was her fault that she was that way.
What is interesting is that Billy himself comes across quite badly, he’s in trouble for graffitiing and just comes across as someone who is cocky and arrogant, just for the sake of being that way, so while it was hard to like him, obviously Claire still loves him, as any mother would. My dislike for him was a surprise, I thought it would be a case of caring for him, and it was more my feelings about Claire (and his brother Jake who I liked immensely) that made me want to find out what happened.
Claire’s friend, Liz is just great, a real support for her and equally as caring as Claire is, but also seems to be one of the larger than life characters and she was a joy to read. Infact, all the characters were well written, you understood them, even if you weren’t that keen on them, and I thought this was really good as it was only told through one person’s viewpoint.
The ending was something else, every few chapters we are shown a conversation that is using Whatsapp, using usernames as opposed to real names, and through this things slowly begin to reveal themselves, not fall into place exactly, but they give you some clues as to what happens on the lead up to Billy’s disappearance. This culminates in and ending that took my breath away. It was tense and surprising, and I was left thinking about everything that transpired, long after I had finished the book. I love that there was a definitive ending, unlike some books which leave me with more questions than answers.
C L Taylor’s books keep getting better and better, each one more deep and thought-provoking than the last.
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Published by: Avon
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
Available 7th April

Little Girl Gone by Alexandra Burt

littlegirlgone

Synopsis

A baby goes missing. But does her mother want her back?

Estelle knows she holds the key to what happened that night – but what she doesn’t know is whether she was responsible…

When Estelle’s baby daughter is taken from her cot, she doesn’t report her missing. Days later, Estelle is found in a wrecked car, with a wound to her head and no memory.

The Piano Man Project by Kat French

PianomanSynopsis

A delightfully romantic, heartwarming read for everyone who’s ever looked for The One and found someone better.

You: kind, piano-playing sex god

Me: hopelessly romantic charity shop manager

Honeysuckle Jones has a problem, and her best friends Nell and Tash are on a mission to help her solve it. She needs a man – a caring, intelligent, funny man. But most importantly, a man who’s good with his hands…

Luckily Honey’s new neighbour – moody, antisocial ex-chef Hal – fails on almost every count. Even though the chemistry between them is electric, he’s obviously wrong for her in every way.