Hello readers! Exciting news! It’s time for the 2nd instalment of Books Beyond The Story’s crime month! Anyone wondering what order I chose the books in is simple- the order that I read them 😉
The book today is ‘The Escape’ by C L Taylor. I have to say, I am a huge fan of her work (‘The Missing’, ‘The lie’, ‘The Accident’, ‘The Lodger’) so my expectations were VERY high for her latest thriller.
‘The Escape’ revolves around every mother’s nightmare… that something terrible will happen to their child. I was gripped from the start!
The book begins so innocently; Jo gives Paula a lift in her car. What could go wrong? But Jo doesn’t know Paula, and yet Paula knows her. She knows all about Jo’s husband Max and their two-year-old daughter Elsie. I have to say that actually looking at the situation, it could be seen as nothing. But the way Taylor writes makes the reader uncomfortable and unnerved… I love this style of writing as you’re constantly questioning the characters… and even yourself!
I always felt like I was routing for Jo. Even when pieces of information were missing and situations couldn’t be explained, I always felt like there was more to the story. Jo is quite a likable character; I felt a deep sympathy for her throughout the novel when people started to turn against her. Also, because her chapters were in first person, her actions seemed justified to the reader, however scary and risky they were!
However, my opinion stayed the same with Jo throughout the book; I felt as if I knew her character well… that is until the last page (I won’t say anymore!!!)
In a novel where you’re always guessing a character’s next move, Taylor flips the whole plot on its head and goes in a completely different direction! That’s what I admire about her stories, I am constantly on my toes racing to get to the next page!
The character of ‘Paula’ is quite unusual. She becomes a sort of ‘villain’ of the novel (or is she?) but as far as villains go, she appeared quite normal. As a reader, this is unnerving as it portrays the strong message that you never know what to expect from people, who they are and what they are capable of. ‘It’s always the one you least expect’ rang through my ears throughout the story and I am sure Jo felt frustrated and scared by this thought too.
Max is an unusual character. I didn’t like him from the start (I don’t think the reader is supposed to) and the fact he puts his job before his family made me want to fling the book at the wall on occasions But that’s what Taylor does best- her portrayal of the characters have such strong personalities you can’t help but get involved with the story!
I won’t say any more about the characters as I don’t want to spoil the story! However I will say that ‘Elsie’ is an adorable child and Taylor hit the nail on the head when describing this character! And because she is such a prominent character, not a detail was spared!
Speaking of details, from the beginning Taylor lets the odd one slip to help you piece together the puzzle involving past and present events… something I am a huge fan of in books!
The settings in this book were very interesting. I like how it was set in two different places (I won’t spoil which two I promise!) because it felt like as the settings changed, so did the characters. The climax began to build and people started getting suspicious. I had to finish this book in a day because I knew I wouldn’t sleep wanting to know what was going to happen next! Any book that can do this is a winner in my, well… book!!!
All I will say about the ending is that the build-up was worth it! My heart was racing and I was anxious to get to the last page!
This is not your average thriller, and crime lovers who want shivers down their spine would love it! ‘Thrilled’ me to the bone I should say! I would say this is also a perfect holiday read but I warn you, you’ll be too gripped to this novel to notice you’re away! 😉 (That’s a good thing! 😀 ) In a nut-shell I would say ‘A heart-racing page turner with many twists and turns’.
Thank you Taylor for creating a thrilling masterpiece! My expectations were high but you exceeded them! I know you’re not supposed to have favourites but ‘The Escape’ is my favourite novel of yours! (SO FAR!!!) 😉
Happy reading! Lx
PS. I wanted to get a great picture to do this book justice (hope I did) so yet again I found myself ankle deep in goose poo by the lake to get this shot (this is becoming a theme isn’t it). Hopefully it was worth it!
Also if you haven’t guessed by now I am a huge fan of C L Taylor (probably her biggest) and you can find her books at most bookstores! Here are some links so you can get your hands on a copy!
This review will also appear on goodreads- find my username: booksbeyondthestory
Taylor is also on social media @cltaylorauthor (Instagram)
Thanks for reading this review! Love all my readers! Have a great weekend!