I have read all of CL Taylor’s previous books avidly, so when ‘The Escape’ became available, I jumped at the opportunity.
For the most part the book delivered it’s perceived promise. Main character Jo Blackmore has an undisclosed secret from her past and a mental health condition that prevents her doing things she wants to enjoy. She depends heavily on husband Max, and is over-protective of her young daughter Elise. When she agrees to give a stranger a lift, the reader knows before the threats even start coming, that things are about to go very, very wrong. As Jo’s life begins to spin dangerously out of control, she becomes estranged from Max, and she risks losing everything, including custody of her beloved Elise, Jo decides her only option if she is to keep her sanity and her daughter is to flee their current life and go into hiding.
Part two details Jo’s flight and her new life in hiding with disguises and new names for both her and Elise. Part two has a very different feel to it and was very clearly intended to be a new start. It didn’t grip me as the first part had, but felt much safer – again, possibly intentional on the author’s part. For me personally however, this lost the book marks as the transition felt too abrupt and for a short time at least it felt like I was reading a different story.
As Jo’s secrets, and Max, begin to catch up with her the book begins to pick up again, but never quite recovers its initial pace.
Nevertheless, a thoroughly enjoyable read.
I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.