Look after your daughter's things. And your daughter
When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn't.
The stranger knows Jo's name, she knows her husband Max and she's got a glove belonging to Jo's two year old daughter Elise.
What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo's own husband turn against her.
No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there's only one way to keep her child safe RUN.
The Sunday Times bestseller returns with her biggest and best book yet. The perfect read for fans of Paula Hawkins and Clare Mackintosh.
As a tiny, pre-review disclaimer I should say that I have known CL Taylor for about 10 years - having been a part of the same online writing community as her. We've met but once - when she shouted my name across a crowded book shop - but we are acquainted and when she wanted some help on the journalism-y side of things for The Escape, I offered my advice., PS She's lovely.
I kind of hate reading books by friends - for a number of reasons.
1) If it is rubbish it feels really awkward to either say nothing or faff your way through a positive review.
2) Sometimes my friends give me all the jealous rages and I don't want to be friends with them anymore.
Cally Taylor would give me the jealous rage with The Escape - except that she really is kind of lovely. But that does not take away from the fact she is at the top of her game with The Escape -a grippy, claustrophobic, roller-coaster ride of a thriller which swerves in directions you didn't think possible just when you think it's all done and dusted.
The book plays on that most basic of instinct - a mother's need to protect her child. And we mothers - we would do everything we can - including risk our own safety, if we think our children are in danger.
From the opening chapter of The Escape the scene is set. The threat looms large in the life of Jo and little Elise - until things spiral into any parent's worst nightmare and Jo is forced to take some pretty shocking risks.
It's hard to review books like this because there is a danger of giving away spoilers. But I will say as this book picks up speed, and moves towards the very dramatic conclusion it is almost suffocating to read. I gobbled up the last few chapters - reading them at a breathless pace, right there in the moment wth Jo - feeling her panic and fear.
Part of this novel is set in Ireland - and Cally perfectly captures the Ireland of the past and the characteristics of the present without descending in plastic paddy territory - something many readers will be deeply grateful for.
On a personal level it has been a joy to see Cally emerge as one of the UK's premiere thriller writers - but it is hard earned and deserved. Her books, including The Escape, pull the reader into an uncomfortable, shocking world where they don't know who, or what reality, to trust.
This is another cracking read - and proof that with each book she just goes from strength to strength.
The Escape is published by Avon.
I received a copy of this book as a gift from the author.
For the love of books
A good writer must be an avid reader. I'll be posting reviews of some of the books I'm reading. Disclaimer: I'm not a book blogger - I'm just a reader. These are books I've chosen to read for fun.