Book Review: The Escape by C. L. Taylor

Book Review: The Escape by C. L. Taylor | Hollie In Wanderlust

C.L. Taylor is probably one of my favourite new additions to the
psychological fiction/crime fiction genre. I’ve read 3 of her books prior to
the one (and reviewed The
Lie
, here) I’m about to unveil and loved each and every one of them and
I’m pleased to say that her newest book, The
Escape
, is no exception to the rule. The
Escape
was a bit of a spontaneous buy whilst I was perusing the shelves in
my parents’ local Tesco- it was on offer and I had a train journey ahead of me,
so I whacked it in my basket and it wasn’t long before I was 100% stuck in and
a million percent addicted.

Our protagonist, Jo, finds herself instantly transported into what is arguably
every parent’s nightmare: a woman approaches her, threatens her daughter’s
safety, and disappears without a moments thought. Having lost her first child
whilst pregnant, naturally Jo is incredibly protective over her daughter Elise,
practically wrapping her up in cotton wool, and struggles to put herself in
difficult situations because of the agoraphobia she suffers from. This woman,
who we learn is called Paula, knows a lot about Jo and her life: her husbands
name, her daughters name, where they live… all terrifying stuff. She also has
in her possession a glove belonging to little Elise – all of this more than
enough to scare Jo to her wits end and report back to her husband, Max. Before
long, Paula seems to be affecting the happenings of her life on a detrimental
scale and it’s all Jo can do not to run away from the terror to a safe haven.
Things take an even bigger turn for the worse when her husband, worried about
the safety of their daughter, files for sole custody. When no one seems to believe
that Elise’s life is in danger, Jo makes the decision to run to the only place
where she has ever truly felt safe, her motherland Ireland, averting police and
the course of justice as she does so.

I absolutely loved Jo as a character- she was hearty and gutsy when she
needed to be, putting her daughter before anything and everything that stood in
her way. I sympathised with her immediately and everything that went against
her irritated me to no end- how could they be so cruel to a woman who clearly
cares for her daughter so dearly? On the other hand, Paula is the standard
villain: terrorising and unnerving, she made even me feel uncomfortable and
cautious.

This book was incredibly good. It was one of those books where I knew
from the offset that I wasn’t going to put it down until I’d devoured the very
last page. I found myself telling my customers all about it when I was at work,
I’ve recommended it to pretty much all of my friends and I’ll likely ship a
copy over to my mum to read at some point too. If I could shout from the rooftops
about it without being assumed insane, I probably would. Psychological fiction
is the genre that I turn to when I’m relying on something consistent and
satisfying, so finding a book that exceeds even my own expectations is
remarkable. Every little hint towards what was going to happen made me want to
read even more: the book was quick paced and extraordinarily exciting, every
page that turned unravelling a new twist in the tale. I am notorious at
guessing what’s going to happen and while I got the “twist” pretty early on, that
didn’t make it any less exciting when all the pieces of the jigsaw came
together. I liked the flip between different perspectives – it definitely added
a completely different dimension to the novel and gave you a small break from
all the drama.

An excellent, exciting novel which will satisfy every thriller loving
reader immensely.

4.5/5