Avon Books Publication Date 22nd March
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 Mike 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 worse kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey…
Despite the nature of the subject matter I found this book to be an entertaining read. Lou Wandsworth has to take drastic measures to ensure the man who abused her all those years ago can’t be left to repeat this behaviour.
This book wasn’t really what I expected and I don’t think the blurb accurately captures the story, which is told from the points of view of the women who have been involved in Mike’s life – Lou, Chloe and his wife Wendy. Using a then and now format we learn about Lou’s teenage experiences which have sinister parallels to Mike’s current behaviour with Chloe. Both Lou and Chloe are isolated in what they know, a clever reflection of the secrecy around victims of grooming and the lasting shame.
I was impressed with the female characters, the way the author captured the vulnerability of the girls Mike preyed upon and the disbelief of the wife and used these angles and motivations well to develop the story and create lots of secrets and lies.
There was a lot going on and many directions this story could have taken which was great as it kept me guessing – who is going to find out what and when? The middle part of the story I loved, slightly farcical but highly entertaining with Lou unwittingly in a tricky situation with no real way out. The way this all played out was terrific and this was by far my favourite book by C L Taylor to date. The plot was strong and drove the story and the actions of the characters, while at times outlandish also felt plausible given the situation.
A surprising twist at the end rounded off this thriller nicely. A great read with a satisfying outcome for all!