One evening as Jo Blackmore is leaving work to collect her daughter, Elise, from nursery when she is approached by a woman she doesn’t know who asks her for a lift. Jo may not know Paula but Paula knows a lot about Jo and her journalist husband Max. Paula wants something from Max and threatens Jo and her family in an attempt to get it, putting Jo in a living nightmare. The problem is Max doesn’t believe her, says he doesn’t know Paula and the Jo is being paranoid, a feeling held by the police and social services after they become involved due to Jo’s erratic behaviour. Jo has nowhere to turn and wants to protect her daughter at all costs, the only option is to run, flight rather tan fight.
The Escape is one of those book that you can’t escape; it hooks you from the first page and doesn’t let go until until the last full stop. The plot is very clever as it centres around a situation that could occur to everyone in life, there is a real sense of reality to this book. The characters are all ordinary people, with ordinary lives and everyday issues; it deals with post natal depression, agoraphobia, miscarriage, terminal illness, separation, and pressures at work. These situations are not over dramatised but just included as part of life, pressures we deal with on a daily basis. The fact that the events that occur in this book happen to people we can identify with adds to the tension of the plot.
For the most part the book is in the third person and follows Jo and Max as they deal with the threat to their family and the events that occur to add to Jo’s paranoia. Every now and then there is a chapter that is told in the first person, presumably from Paula’s point of view, why she is targeting Jo and playing on her insecurities and almost goading her into making a mistake.
This book is fast paced from the start and doesn’t let up. The character’s secrets, lies, deceit, fear, and paranoia enable the plot to keep changing direction as the truth is slowly revealed. Tension heightens throughout as the book hurtles towards its shocking climax, that won’t disappoint.
As with her previous novels, C L Taylor has achieved a story that is dark, suspenseful and addictive. Be prepared to be consumed by The Escape you will want to read it in one sitting; just brilliant.