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Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Fear by C.L. Taylor - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Fourteen-year-old Lou loved her karate teacher Mike with all her heart. When he suggested a trip to France she was more than happy to go with him. However, the trip turned into a nightmare and many years later Lou is still having problems because of everything Mike has done to her. She's in her early thirties and is alone because she has relationship issues. When she inherits her father's house and goes back to the area she met Mike, she decides to confront her past. To her disgust she discovers that Mike is grooming another girl. Chloe is thirteen years old and Lou will do everything she can to make sure history won't repeat itself. Unfortunately it isn't easy to get people to listen, how far will Lou be willing to go to make sure Chloe remains safe? Mike is a predator, will she risk her own wellbeing and take the chance she'll be his victim once again?

Wendy is trying to approach Lou, but how can she do that without raising suspicion? She has to be careful if she wants to reach her goal. Because of Lou her whole life changed and there's a lot she holds Lou accountable for. Is this justified? What is the connection between the two women and will meeting Lou give Wendy the answers she needs?

The Fear is a gripping story about a despicable dangerous man and his victims. Mike skillfully grooms teenage girls with problems at home. Lou and Chloe's parents have other things on their minds than the happiness of their children and he uses this to his advantage. I felt sick when I read about his personality, his actions and the methods he uses. C.L. Taylor describes him in a fantastic believable way that makes him come to life almost too well. Mike is clever and cunning, a man to fear. Not knowing what his next move would be kept me on the edge of my seat.

Lou used to be a vulnerable teenager. She's still fragile now that she's older, having plenty of scars from everything that happened between her and Mike. She was too scared to testify and was always afraid he'd come after her. C.L. Taylor writes about her fear in an amazing way, I could really feel it. I could easily imagine why she wanted to save Chloe from a fate similar to her own. Chloe is young and naive. She's being bullied and doesn't have any self confidence. Love is lacking in her life and Mike is more than willing to fill that gap. I couldn't stop reading as I was anxious to find out if Chloe would see his true nature in time. I was also curious to see what Wendy's role would be in the story. She's a complex woman with a personality that has many different layers. I loved how C.L. Taylor alternates between the three equally interesting characters.

C.L. Taylor has written another thought-provoking book. She's an expert when it comes to dividing tension. Her books always surprise me in many different ways. The Fear has plenty of unexpected twists and turns and the ending is absolutely mindblowing. The subject matter of The Fear is disturbing and reading about Mike put tears in my eyes plenty of times. The Fear is an incredibly well written story for readers with a strong stomach.


If you love gripping thrillers and can handle reading about difficult subjects you don't want to miss The Fear.

About C.L. Taylor

C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and young son. She is a three times Sunday Times bestseller and her books have hit the number one spots on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks and Google Play. Cally has a degree in Psychology, with particular interest in abnormal and criminal Psychology. She also loves knitting, Dr Who, Sherlock, Great British Bake Off and Margaret Atwood and blames Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected for her love of a dark tale.

Her dark psychological thriller THE ACCIDENT was published in the UK by Avon HarperCollins in April 2014 and as BEFORE I WAKE in the US in June 2014 by Sourcebooks.

Her second psychological thriller THE LIE was published in the UK in April 2015. It became a Sunday Times bestseller and hit the #1 slots on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play and Sainsbury ebooks. THE LIE was published in the U.S. by Sourcebooks.

CL's third psychological thriller THE MISSING was published in April 2016 and was another Sunday Times and ebook bestseller. THE MISSING was published in the U.S. by William Morrow in 2017.

THE ESCAPE, her fourth psychological thriller, went to number 2 in the Sunday Times paperback chart in 2017 and won the Dead Good Books Most Unreliable Narrator award.

Her fifth psychological thriller THE FEAR will be published on 22nd March 2018.

THE TREATMENT, her Young Adult thriller, was the fastest selling UK YA debut of 2017.

Her international bestselling romantic comedies (written as Cally Taylor), HEAVEN CAN WAIT and HOME FOR CHRISTMAS were both published by Orion in the UK. They have been translated into 14 different languages, and her debut was voted ‘Debut Novel of the Year’ by and

In 2014 HOME FOR CHRISTMAS was made into a feature film by JumpStart Productions. For more information visit


Website // Facebook // Twitter // Amazon


1) Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

Hello! Thanks for having me on your blog. I'm Cally Taylor and I've been a published author since 2009. My first two books (Heaven Can Wait and Home For Christmas) were romantic comedies and were published under my name. Whilst on maternity leave in 2011 I had an idea for a psychological thriller and decided to join the dark side as C.L. Taylor. The first of my crime novels, The Accident, was published in 2014. The Fear is my fifth psychological thriller and I'm currently writing the sixth. I'm in my 40s and I live in Bristol with my partner, son and our hyperactive cockapoo Lily.

2) Could you describe the main characters of The Fear in seven words each?

Great question:

Lou: strong, conflicted, emotionally unavailable, brave, caring, intelligent

Wendy: bitter, funny, loner, animal lover, clever, twisted

Chloe: vulnerable, scared, conflicted, kind, desperate, intelligent, teenager

Mike: manipulative, clever, predator, pathetic, scheming, mask, charming

3) You write about a terrible predator in The Fear, what’s the inspiration behind this?

Several readers have drawn similarities between what happens in The Fear and what happened in the famous news story about teacher Jeremy Forrest running off to France with one of his pupils. I wanted to write about how the victim of a similar grooming case would feel several years later and how she'd react if she ran into the man she thought she'd fallen in love with. The real news story was only a starting point for my story and my predator is a complete figment of my imagination. A truly terrifying figment of my imagination...

4) How do you divide tension in your stories and keep them suspenseful?

Ooh, good question. These days I plot my stories using the 4 Act structure. That means that I split the story into eight sequences and have a climactic moment at the end of the each sequence and plenty of twists, turns and conflict within them. I also try very hard to keep a sense of mystery running through the story. There will always be a central mystery but smaller mysteries keep the reader gripped as they turn the pages.

5) How did your writing career start and how does it feel to win wonderful prizes?

Although I sent a 'book' I'd written to a publisher when I was eight (and received my first rejection) my career really got started in my late twenties when I started writing short stories. Not all writers start that way but I enjoyed being able to experiment with different forms and structures and, after a couple of years of rejections, I started winning short story competitions and selling stories to literary and women's magazines.

When I was thirty-three a dear friend from school died suddenly and I realised that, if I wanted a career as an author, I might not have all the time in the world to write a book. I wrote my first book, Heaven Can Wait, in three months and three weeks after work and at the weekends and, after a lot of rewrites, it was published by Orion in 2009. After a second book was published in 2011 I had an idea for a psychological thriller and my career changed direction.

Winning prizes has been the icing on the cake on a career that's brought me so much joy. The Specsavers' Nielsen Book Awards was such a glittering star-studded event I had to pinch myself, and I cried happy tears after The Escape won a readers' award for Most Unreliable Narrator at the Dead Good Book Awards.

6) What are your plans for the future?

I am currently writing the first draft of my sixth psychological thriller which will be my first hardback (to be published in January 2019). I've always wanted to be published in hardback so it's another dream come true. I also need to find the time this year to write my second Young Adult thriller which will hopefully be published next year too.


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a paperback copy of The Fear by C.L. Taylor.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. The Fear sounds like a gripping, intense psychological thriller that deals with an uncomfortable subject matter in a sensitive manner.

  2. I'm always happy to find a new to me thriller writer! I can't wait to check out yours books!!

  3. seen this on twitter, what a fab cover and a great story, would love to read x

  4. Wow - sounds captivating!

  5. Wow, what a gripping novel this must be. A very disturbing topic, however I do think this novel might well help those in a similar situation with a predator to see clearer.

  6. So excited about The Fear!
    Love to read psychological thrillers!
    Thank you :)

  7. I have read all of the previous book's, they are brilliant, cannot wait to read this!

  8. Big fan of C.L. Taylor ♡

  9. This review gave me the shivers! I can't wait to read it!

  10. Sounds like a super suspenseful read! Also I love glimpse into your character's personalities (question2).

  11. I love reading thrillers, I've added your book to my "to read" list

  12. Can't wait to read this new thriller!

  13. Scary story. Love the cover.

  14. I like the descriptions of the characters. They have me intrigued.

  15. i/ don't know how I've not come across any of these books. Now I know about them i can't wait to read them.

  16. I saw this book on Twitter just the other day and I knew right than that I'm going to read it. Sounds great.

  17. I must admit i have not read any of your books before but this seems such a great read I love Thrillers

  18. It intrigued me in wanting to read it just by the title

  19. I really like this author's books

  20. I loved The Escape, I can't wait to read this.

  21. this sounds great, would love to read it xx