Having enjoyed The Missing and The Lie, both by C.L. Taylor, I was excited to read her latest novel, The Fear.
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…
Firstly, how stunning is the cover of Taylor’s latest novel, The Fear? But my love doesn’t stop with the cover of this novel, I loved the story told too; reading the blurb, you may feel like this plot has been done already, but let me tell you, this novel exceeded all my expectations! Taylor has taken a plot idea most of us are familiar with, and made it her own. This is one of those addictive reads – I was up till 2am because there was no chance of me going to sleep without knowing how this one would end.
Narrated from multiple points of view, this story did not play out at all how I thought – it played out much better; there were a few twists along the way and then things intensified, and I was hooked! Every psychological thriller needs a villain, and Mike was so hateable, a creep of the worst kind, he made my skin crawl – there’s no denying Taylor’s ability to write characters that evoke emotion in you. Not only do we get events in the present day, as Mike sets his sights on Chloe, but we also get a narrative of a younger Lou – hearing her account, combined with Chloe’s, just intensifies your hatred for Mike and you’re praying history doesn’t repeat itself.
Lou, as you can imagine, was likeable and you’re rooting for her, but I loved that she wasn’t portrayed as your typical ‘damsel in distress’. And then we have Wendy, I won’t tell you anything about Wendy, but she certainly ups the ante!
The momentum continuously builds throughout The Fear and concludes with a brilliant ending, and certain parts of the plot will have you on the edge of your seat. But while you are enjoying this thriller, you can’t help but think about the darker side of humanity, yes Mike, but also the family dynamics that can make a young girl vulnerable to certain situations – and it’s this very real portrayal of family dynamics that gives this book it’s darker edge.
I have enjoyed all three novels I’ve read by Taylor, she’s an author I would definitely recommend reading if you enjoy psychological thrillers. I look forward to reading the remainder of her published titles, and the ones she is yet to write.