‘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…’
Right, I need to apologise in advance for any shouty caps and any wittering on I do in this review. Actually I take it back, yes already, because this is a book that absolutely must be shouted about at every available opportunity!
The Fear is without a doubt C. L. Taylor’s BEST DAMN BOOK TO DATE! It is utterly compelling and IMPOSSIBLE to put down. Seriously, for three hours I sat and read this book without stopping, if anyone dared look at me, let alone try to talk to me, I wanted to hit them with the book and make them leave me alone, forever! Every detail of this book was mesmerising, and C. L. Taylor has this way of drawing you in, horryifing you then leaving you terrified for days. If you know anyone called Mike, you’ll be wanting to avoid him forever after reading this book!
Louise Wandsworth is terrible at relationships, she only allows herself to go so far before she pulls away and inevitably ends up alone. After a one night stand with Ben, she expects to find him gone the next morning but Ben sticks around and a month later she finds herself being taken out for a surprise by Ben. Only Louise HATES surprises, if Ben knew her at all then he would know why she hated them. But Louise hasn’t told Ben the truth about her past, in fact Louise hasn’t told anyone about her past and her past is ruining her life now and will in the future…
You see at thirteen, Louise met a man named Mike, he was her karate instructor. Mike groomed Louise and made her believe that they were completely in love with one another, and that they obviously had to keep it a secret because he was so much older and no-one would understand, people would think it was wrong and stop them from being together. Mike was married but told Louise that his marriage was unhappy and Louise was the only person in the world that he truly loved, he made her feel so special, he treated her like a grown up, he cared for her when she thought no-one else did. And with that trust, he kidnapped her and took her to France, on the pretence that they were having a romantic weekend away together, where they could be together as a couple. At first Mike is silly, happy and playful making Louise believe this was true love, but then things start to turn sour quickly and Mike begins to show an aggressive and violent side that leaves Louise living in fear, the sex between them is no longer gentle and loving and Mike begins to violate Louise in ways she never dreamed he could or would.
In the present Louise has escaped from Ben’s car and runaway, the surprise he had planned involved going on the ferry in Dover to go to France and it was all too much for her, so she ends it with Ben then and there and gets a train home to London. Yet again her past has hindered her happiness. For eighteen years Louise has pretended that Mike doesn’t exist but now she realises that she needs to face Mike once and for all to hopefully get the closure she needs to be able to move on. Her dad died in the family home a while ago now and so she returns home to finally sort out the farm house out and will confront Mike also.
Mike spent five years in prison for what he did to Louise but still lives in the same house, not that Louise had ever been there, he kept her away from his home and wife. He maintained throughout the trial that he went to France to bring Louise home after she ran away from home and at the time Louise refused to speak at the trial through fear of seeing him again, something she soon regrets…
When Louise arrives at Mike’s house he isn’t in and an over friendly neighbour divulges that he woks at the local garden centre doing pickups for them. Louise heads that way and what she sees makes her revolted, Mike is in a wendy house kissing someone…. another child! Mike is doing it again, it wasn’t just her, it is now this young girl and she has to put a stop to it. Louse hides away and watches the young girl get into a car that is clearly her dads, then follows them home, she then goes to the police and tells them excatly what she saw but gives them a false name and doesn’t tell them her own backstory that involves Mike. When the police get back to her to tell her that they couldn’t do anything as they had no evidence Louise snaps and takes matters into her own hands.
Louise arranges for Mike to come and collect a chair from her dads in the hope she can confront him once and for all, only when Mike turns up it all goes terribly wrong for Louise and she finds herself losing control of the situation, a situation that she so desperately wanted to have full control over…
Now I am going to be really annoying and stop talking about what comes next because I really don’t want to ruin that suspense and goosebump inducing storytelling that Cally so expertly does within her writing.
But I do want to talk about Mike’s ex wife, Wendy, because wow! Wendy has her own narrative throughout the book and her story is just as gripping as Lou’s. Wendy could be described as psychopathic and she has a real obsession with Lou, she truly believes that Mike was seduced by Lou because that is what Mike made her believe, Mike kept Wendy within his clutches for as long as possible even when in prison, lying and manipulating her very much the same way as Lou but for very different rewards.
The different narration between the Lou and Wendy really kept this a page turner from beginning to end, two very desperate women both with vendettas that are taking over their lives! As the days go by the momentum builds and builds and you find yourself desperate to discover how it will end, and having the story told from two perspectives has you racing through page after page until finally you realise you haven’t moved from the sofa all day and the kids are crying in the corner from starvation! (I would like to point out I did feed the kids!) Both Wendy and Lou are fascinating characters and actually very alike, they just don’t know it. Both were treated appallingly by Mike, both duped by his lies. As for Mike he is the most deplorable character I have ever come across, he is terrifying and will go to any length to get his own way, he tells lie after lie, after lie and only Lou is truly aware of how vile he is. But no one seems to believe her.
Cally is a genius, she weaves a story like no other. She is the Queen of suspense and refusing her readers the ability of sleeping whilst there are still pages unread! The Fear truly is the best book she has written and if she keeps getting better with each book I cannot wait for the next book and the next and the next.
The Fear is terrifying, completely addictive and that one book you will always try and force other people to read, just so you can talk about it some more! Absolutely unputdownable.
Don’t hesitate, go buy it right now, in all good shops or by clicking here!
And now I have an interview with Cally about The Fear…
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, which was published by HarperCollins HQ.
C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and young son.
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1. Cally, I’m a HUGE fan of yours as you know and this book is without a doubt your