Publication: 22 March 2018 from Avon
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…
I would normally shy away from books with this specific subject matter, but I was interested to read this much talked about book. Cally Taylor has created a gripping and utterly compelling drama told from the perspective of the characters at the heart of the action.
Lou has never really recovered from her deeply traumatic teenage experiences with her karate teacher, Mike. Years later, she still has trouble trusting and is not able to form long term relationships.
Wendy is a deeply frustrated and vengeful divorcee. She knows who is to blame for the collapse of her marriage and with that collapse, her loss of status, nice house and garden and decent social life. With a restraining order against her for attacking her ex, she is a bitter woman.
When Lou returns to her childhood home after yet another relationship break up, her plan is to sell up her deceased parents rambling old farmhouse once she has cleaned it up and cleared it of clutter. While she is home, she takes a job to keep the cash flow going.
What she doesn’t bargain for, though, is having to face her teenage ordeal all over again when, by chance, she sees Mike kissing a young girl. Chloe is introverted, chubby and not massively popular at school. Her parents aren’t really getting on and Chloe feels lost and alone.
Lou is horrified; not only because it brings back memories she has been trying to suppress for years, but also because she never thought that her abuser would have been able to carry on with his horrifying practices.
Riddled with guilt, because she refused to testify at his hearing, Lou is in a quandary about what to do. Frightened and horrified in equal measure, she needs to get the police and the girl’s parents to hear her concerns without giving away her own traumatic history. And it is that flawed reasoning that leads to a series of catastrophic choices for Lou that leave her acting in ways she never thought possible.
To protect Chloe and redeem herself, she will go to extraordinary lengths, but not everyone will see things the way that Lou does, and that includes Chloe.
The Fear is a well told, emotionally raw story that handles a very difficult subject well. There are sometimes actions which feel slightly too far-fetched, but overall this is a powerful and timely book on a subject of immense importance.
A chilling finale and with lots of twists and turns, I’d recommend this psychological thriller.
C.L. Taylor is the Sunday Times bestselling author of five gripping stand-alone psychological thrillers: THE ACCIDENT, THE LIE, THE MISSING, THE ESCAPE and THE FEAR. Her books have sold in excess of a million copies, been number one on Amazon Kindle, Kobo, iBooks and Google Play and have been translated into over 20 languages. THE ESCAPE won the Dead Good Books ‘Hidden Depths’ award for the Most Unreliable Narrator.
Cally Taylor was born in Worcester and spent her early years living in various army camps in the UK and Germany. She studied Psychology at the University of Northumbria and went on forge a career in instructional design and e-Learning before leaving to write full time in 2014.
She started writing short stories in 2005 and was published widely in literary and women’s magazines. She also won several short story competitions. In 2009 and 2011 her romantic comedy novels (as Cally Taylor) were published by Orion and translated into fourteen languages. HEAVEN CAN WAIT was a bestseller in Hungary and China and HOME FOR CHRISTMAS was made into a feature film by JumpStart Productions. Whilst on maternity leave with her son Cally had an idea for a psychological thriller and turned to crime. She has also written a Young Adult thriller, THE TREATMENT, published by HarperCollins HQ.
C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and young son.
Follow C.L. Taylor on @callytaylor