Publication Date: March 22nd from Avon
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…
Definitely without doubt for me the best novel yet from this author – she usually gets me mad at a particularly beautifully annoying single character, this time that trademark brilliance in characterisation is there but I’m getting mad for all the right reasons and the story is twisted as sin and twice as dark, with an emotionally resonant theme at the heart of it.
Also, I was rather gleefully fond of Wendy, not sure what that says about me and probably a little too enthusiastic at one particular scene in this book because I did a small fist pump and managed to knock a pile of books off the bedside cabinet. IT’S FINE THE BOOKS LIVED.
What I loved about this one mostly is the way the story pans out in strange yet such believable ways. Lou discovers that the man who groomed her in her youth has his sights set on another teenager – desperate to prevent another child from going through that horrifying experience she sets out to stop him. What follows is an utterly gripping, often quite scary and genuinely compelling story, with many clever little psychological levels exploring the fallout from all those years ago upon more people than just Lou..
The Fear is as emotionally resonant as it is entertaining, we learn what Lou experienced all those years ago and no punches are pulled – when in the present day Lou starts to get to grips with her trauma through the sheer determination she has to make sure no more lives are ruined, it is kind of uplifting. Even with the rather rash actions she takes, often with no filter, which kind of brings on the entertaining part…
Whether intentional or not, for me Wendy was the shining character in The Fear – for a start she is definitively divisive in that C L Taylor way, but oddly easy to love. It was another strong feature of this novel that the author didn’t stick with victim and perpetrator but explored wider angles and implications which just gave it an added depth beyond that of twisty psychological thriller.
Overall an excellent read. You’ll be glued to the pages, enthralled, often aghast, compelled to the rather excellent end game.
Big thumbs up from me.