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 by C. L. Taylor 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.
In The Escape by C. L. Taylor 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.