Avon | March 2018 | 416 pgs
Source: Purchased

Eighteen years ago, Louise Wandsworth left home and ran away to France with Mike Hughes, who was her karate teacher then. She thought Mike was her everything, and that no one else understands her more than he did but she was wrong. He left her life in pieces and Louise is never the same person again.

Now at 32, Louise thought she has moved on from that terrible past. She did find someone but deep in her heart what feelings she has for a person has died away the day Mike did those horrible things to her. And when she is back in Malvern she discovers that not only Mike is alive and kicking but he is now involved with Chloe Meadows, a teenage girl just like what she was those eighteen years ago. Determined not to let history repeating itself, she prepares herself for the confrontation and assure herself that this time round she would not allow Mike to get away scot-free.

Wendy Harrison is Mike's ex-wife and has a record of hurting Mike in the past. Living alone with a dog and a restraining order from the court, she now has her eyes fixated on Louise after going through her social media platform and "befriended" her friends. She has harboured a deep hatred towards Louise and thinks she is responsible for her wrecked marriage with Mike. She decides to seek Louise out under the guise of a potential client where she is working and take things from there.

Told from three viewpoints between Louise, Wendy and Chloe, this book portrays issues of pedophilia, obsessive love, psychological manipulation and how far one would go to protect themselves and those around them. The dark subject centering around pedophilia is mind-blowing and disturbing at times but I thought the author tackled it delicately and through her fleshed out characters it all made this story so real and scary. While one may think Louise is the star of the story, personally I felt Wendy took the centre stage right from the start. She is unpredictable and one could never guess her intentions. She question readers with her characteristics and makes one wonder if she is truly a victim or a manipulator? (No spoilers here.)

Reading this book was like riding a roller coaster, I never anticipated the turns and it kept me wondering about the twists until I found myself at the end of the ride, and by that time all I felt wasn't totally a relief but more questions on the improbable coincidences and the credibility surrounding the ending but overall I thought it was an intense read. 

Based on the quotes inside the book, many have claimed this is the best C.L. Taylor has written. I couldn't comment or compare since this is my first Taylor book but it definitely had me intrigued to check out her other books.

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14 Responses
  1. jenclair Says:

    I haven't read anything by C.L. Taylor. I'm not sure about the topics, but it does bring to mind some of the recent scandals concerning the abuse of girls in sports, especially gymnastics.

  2. Lark Says:

    Hey, Melody! Glad you liked this one. I've never read any of Taylor's books, but Wendy's character sounds super obsessive and scary and Mike sounds like a complete creep. Did you like Louise? Great review! :)

  3. Kay Says:

    I've not read any of the author's book either. However, this one sounds very intense. I might think about reading it since you were impressed with it. Thanks!

  4. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - It's a dark topic, that's for sure, but it's also a timely topic. I've heard about the abuse of girls in sports and it's all so maddening and sad.

  5. Melody Says:

    Lark - It was an intense read and yes, Wendy's character is a scary one. She had me guessing most of the times and Mike just put me off. Period. Louise is a complicated character; she has her dark moments at times but this makes her more human given the bad events happened to her.

  6. Melody Says:

    Kay - It was intense. I'll be curious of your thoughts if you do read it, Kay.

  7. Jenny Says:

    Eeeesh! This one sounds crazy!

  8. Melody Says:

    Jenny - Craziness is one of the words I'll describe some characters here.

  9. Talk about intense! I haven't read anything by this author, but I imagine this was quite the roller coaster.

  10. Iliana Says:

    This definitely sounds intense! Glad to know what to prepare myself for when I get to this one!

  11. I'm intrigued! I like that the viewpoints of all three women are presented. Great review! I haven't read her before, though I have a couple of her books on my TBR stack.

  12. Melody Says:

    Wendy - It sure is, Wendy. The topic was dark but the story and how it progressed had me captivated throughout my reading journey.

  13. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I hope you'll enjoy it if you do get to it, Iliana.

  14. Melody Says:

    Diana - I need to check out her other books after reading this one. I'm really intrigued. ;)

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