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The Escape by C. L. Taylor
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The Escape

by C. L. Taylor

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‘The Escape’ by CL Taylor fairly gallops along without time to take a deep breath. It is a tale of escape, pursuit, lies, vulnerability, long-hidden secrets and selfishness. At times I didn’t know which character to believe and I didn’t particularly like any of them. I wanted to sit them down at the kitchen table with a mug of tea and a plate of biscuits, and bang their heads together. There appear to be so many lies it is difficult to sift out the truth, which became a little frustrating after a while. In the end, there are many types of escape.
Jo and Max have a toddler daughter Elise. Max, an investigative journalist, has just completed a long-running story which resulted in a conviction, and he is jubilant. Jo, who became agoraphobic after the loss of their first child Henry, lives from day to day, her small world surrounding Elise. Jo feels Max is less sympathetic to her condition than he used to be. Max tries to be patient but is finding it increasingly difficult. Into this fragile world steps Paula, a stranger, who threatens Jo and Elise. The first crack appears as Max doubts Jo’s judgement of the threat. Is she panicking again, exaggerating it, imagining it?
Faced with danger to her child, Jo runs. That is the escape of the title. The agoraphobia which made it a trial to take her daughter to nursery every day fades as, driven by her maternal defence mechanism, she packs Elise into her car and flees to Ireland. Ireland, we know vaguely, is where her mother came from years ago but of which she will not speak. More mystery. As she runs, Jo appears more unbalanced, sees threats on all sides and is forever planning escape routes. But where is the danger actually coming from? Is she seeing clearly, could it be that some of the lies which frighten her are actually the truth? And vice-versa. Is she a reliable witness? The need for flight seems to over-ride all historic connections of love and trust, she runs from the people who try to help her. So, is she misguided, confused? Or correct? And in escaping with Elise, in all good intentions to protect her daughter, is she putting her two-year-old daughter in further danger of her life?
This is a psychological thriller which asks some difficult questions. About how we react to stress, how our judgement of others can be influenced, and when to trust your own deep-seated instincts.
Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-reviews-a-z/ ( )
  Sandradan1 | Dec 18, 2017 |
To be reviewed! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Dec 14, 2017 |
Great escapist read, popular in the UK ( )
  bhowell | Jun 3, 2017 |
The Escape – A Disturbing and Tense Thriller of the Highest Quality

The Escape is the latest psychological thriller from C.L. Taylor, and once again she delivers a disturbing and tense thriller of the highest quality. From beginning to the end Taylor has the reader feeling the same claustrophobic fears as the victim, her grip is stronger than a vice, that takes you on a massive rollercoaster of a ride before delivering a final knockout.

When Jo Blackmore is approached in the street by a stranger if it would be possible to give her a lift, and when she opens the door she soon wishes she hadn’t. The stranger, Paula, want Jo to pass a message on to her husband to return what he had stolen, and leaves her with a warning about her daughter Elise. Jo panics, and is confused when she arrives at her daughter’s nursery, and seems to be in the first stage of a breakdown.

Max Blakemore, Jo’s husband, is a crime reporter in Bristol and he loves both Jo and Elise deeply, even though at times Jo can be very testing. But Jo has had a rough time, her mental health is not the best, and she is very nervy, and quite testing for any man. He also is recently back at his desk after a time away investigating a dangerous thug who also happened to be a loan shark.

When Jo tells him about Paula, Max denies knowing anything about her or whatever she wants, as he would never put his family in danger of the criminals he investigates. What had begun as threats turned in to a nightmare situation for Jo, she does not know what or who to believe. Slowly a nightmare begins that Jo does not see a way out of, especially when the police and social service become involved, even turning her husband against her.

With nowhere to go, she cannot go to her mother’s as she is caring for her dying father in Chester, she takes matters in to her own hands and heads for Ireland. She may have been born in Ireland, but she left in the dead of night with her mother when she was 8 years old, and can remember very little about her family in Ireland, as they were not spoken of at home.

As her mental health begins to fail, or so it seems, she knows that she needs to fight to protect her daughter, from who she does not know. She is lost and confused and does not know who to trust as the world starts to close in on her. Will anyone believe she is an innocent victim? Will anyone believe she has only ever had the safety of her daughter as a priority? Will Ireland condemn her or be her saviour?

Jo is a conflicting character who at times makes you want to scream at her, but at the same time is how a carer feels to one of their charge if they have mental health problems. So, while you love her on one hand, admire her on another, her problems can make her erratic, problematic; Taylor really has got to grips with the character of someone with mental health problems.

The Escape proves why C.L. Taylor is the best thing to come out of Bristol since the Clifton Suspension Bridge! She is Bristol’s very own psycho queen. ( )
  atticusfinch1048 | Mar 20, 2017 |
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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.… (more)

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