Title: The Accident
Author: C. L. Taylor
Release Date: April 2014
My Rating: 8/10 Solid
Sue Jackson has the perfect family but when her teenage daughter Charlotte deliberately steps in front of a bus and ends up in a coma she is forced to face a very dark reality.
Retracing her daughter’s steps she finds a horrifying entry in Charlotte’s diary and is forced to head deep into Charlotte’s private world. In her hunt for evidence, Sue begins to mistrust everyone close to her daughter and she’s forced to look further, into the depths of her own past.
Sue will do anything to protect her daughter. But what if she is the reason that Charlotte is in danger?
After being slightly disappointed in C. L. Taylor’s most recent book, The Missing, I had similar expectations of her debut novel, The Accident. I’m so glad that I was proven wrong.I really enjoyed this book, and didn’t have any of the issues I had with The Missing. It was so gripping and creepy, I really couldn’t stop turning the pages. C. L. Taylor has a really fast-paced writing style and a sped through this really quickly. Despite me finishing it in a couple of days, I didn’t feel the lag I sometimes feel when reading something quickly. I kept reading because I wanted to, not because I didn’t have anything better to do with my day.
I was immediately drawn to the protagonist, Sue, who was presented as slightly unstable throughout. Although her teenage daughter is in a coma, due to mysterious circumstances, we know there is something more to Sue’s anxiety. The mystery is not just what happened to Charlotte, it is what happened to Sue and how the two link. It is through the alternating chapters from her past that we slowly discover the horrors of what happened to her, and without giving anything away, it’s pretty chilling.
As a character, she works very well. She is easy to connect to, despite being 20 years older than me, and a mother, and this is something I have rarely found with this sort of book. I have read too many books recently where the 40-something main character is perfectly middle-class with a large house and a husband with a high paid job. Although Sue does have some of these attributes, she has a fierce vulnerability that draws you to her. You could feel her fear and desperation seeping out of the pages.
It’s been a while since I read a book that actually sickened me. The last few chapters of The Accident made me want to stop reading, they were so disturbing, but I just couldn’t. I needed to know what happened. I love it when an author really goes for it with the gory details. I often find lack of detail means lack of suspense, and The Accident certainly wasn’t lacking in suspense.
My only minor complaint was how Brian left his wallet in Charlotte’s drawer – I didn’t really find this plausible and felt it was shoehorned in just to give him an excuse to come back. It would have been more believable if he’d left it on a table by her bed. (Not really spoilers, I’m not giving anything major away!)
Overall, I’m so glad I read this book. I’d lost my faith in thrillers slightly, and this has helped reignite my love for them! I have a copy of her second thriller, The Lie, and I’m now looking forward to reading it. Hopefully it’ll be just as good.
I’d also like to give a special mention for Milly the dog who was my favourite character.
I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who likes any type of thriller. While not quite psychological, due to its lack of twists, it was extremely gripping, suspenseful, and even frightening in some parts. I’m now very excited to read more of C. L. Taylor.