With his latest sensation thriller, The Fear, C.L. Taylor has further enhanced her reputation as the master of smoke screening by taking a familiar sounding premise and writing a taut, highly unpredictable story.
In Taylor’s skilled hands, the premise – a survivor of a horrific episode of child grooming sets out to prevent the same thing happening to another young girl, many years later – has become a twisty thriller of the highest order, ‘claustrophobic and compelling,’ as thriller author extraordinaire, Karin Slaughter, remarked.
A psychological thriller primed for the paranoia of the digital age, The Fear, Taylor’s fifth book and many say her best yet, blends a clever psychological twist with a serious and sensitive exploration of the repercussions of being a victim.
In Lou’s case, the trauma inflicted by the devious paedophile school teacher Mike Hughes, lasts well into adulthood. As an adult, Lou hasn’t recovered from her scandalous affair with Mike, her teacher at the time who set her up to believing they’d fallen madly in love, a naivety which culminated in a horrific trip to France.
After Lou falls for her teacher, believing him (naively, she was just 14) to be The One, the horrible things he does to her leaves a scar, one that haunts her throughout her years of dating and half-hearted romantic endeavours. She can’t stay in a relationship for longer than three months without wanting to run away. Her life has been ruined by the trauma, and the insolent voice in her head that will never go away – fear.
Now, aged thirty-two and still unable to conquer the fear instilled in her by Mike, Lou catches wind of him preying upon another young girl, Chloe. This time, Mike has been able to wield his power and influence over Chloe because he is a family friend of her father. After witnessing them kissing in a public place, Lou reports the incident to the police. But the investigation falls flat and Lou takes it upon herself to expose Mike. Fool me twice . . . don’t think so.
The Fear is a terrific thriller that’ll get you hooked and keep you up at night flicking through the pages. And that ending. Holy moley!
About the author
C. L. Taylor is a Sunday Times bestselling author. Her psychological thrillers have sold over a million copies in the U.K. alone, been translated into over twenty languages, and optioned for television. C. L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and son.