Thursday, 19 April 2018

The Fear by Cally Taylor

I am delighted to be today's stop on the blog tour for The Fear by CL Taylor. The Fear was published by Avon on 22 March 2018.

The Fear
By Cally Taylor
Published by Avon (22 March 2018)
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher

Publisher's description
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…

My verdict
The Fear is a very dark read, covering strong themes such as grooming, child abuse and revenge. It's definitely CL Taylor's darkest book yet and the well-drawn characters certainly got under my skin.

This is the story of Mike Hughes, a martial arts instructor, who groomed a young teenager, Lou, and then ran away with her to France. Eighteen years on, Lou has finally returned to her childhood home, planning to confront her past so that she can finally put it behind her. She's hoping that after his spell in prison, Mike has changed. But instead, she discovers he is up to his old tricks again, this time with a young teenage girl called Chloe. Lou tries to steer clear but realises she needs to protect Chloe and stop Mike destroying another young girl's life.

The story is narrated by Lou, Chloe and a mysterious woman called Wendy. I guessed some twists early on, but they didn't detract from my enjoyment, and I certainly didn't predict some of the later events (see below). I assume the book was originally set in the present day and then the whole timeline was shifted back 10 years, without changing some of the factual content, such as references to modern social media. But again, this didn't detract from the plot and, after a while, I stopped 'Googling' everything to make sure I wasn't going mad.

The Fear is a fast-paced thriller and very easy to gobble up in one sitting. It features some graphic scenes and disturbing content, but these are handled with sensitivity. I'm reluctant to call the book 'entertaining' due to the topics it covers - 'compelling' and 'addictive' may be more appropriate words to use - but there were certainly some highly memorable, totally crazy and perhaps a little far-fetched scenes towards the end.

If you like twisty psychological thrillers, with strong characters and an unpredictable plot, and don't mind difficult subject matter, then add The Fear to your shopping list.

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