A well-written thriller. 3/5 stars.
The blurb: 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.
There is a lot that Sue doesn’t know about Charlotte’s life. But then there’s a lot that Charlotte doesn’t know about Sue’s…
I’ve wanted to read something by C. L. Taylor for a while. The Accident, her first published novel (2014), is an impressive debut. This is a gripping thriller which zips along at a good pace. There’s nothing particularly original in it but, at it’s best, the book reminded me of some of the best thrillers I’ve seen and read, particularly Sleeping with the Enemy.
I read the book in one sitting and less than three hours, and I think this is how it would be best enjoyed. If you take time out to really think about the plot and characters it all starts to unravel and seem preposterous. However, I think this is a problem I have with most stories of this type. Very often, to further the thriller plot, the main character’s suspicions are dismissed by the police (why are law enforcement always so incompetent/ unsympathetic?), their friends and their family, leaving them isolated and desperate. I always find this incredibly frustrating and stressful to read.
The first half of the book is also better than the second, where I was guilty of skim-reading in a few places. I should also say that this story features some nasty psychological and physical abuse, so it would be one to avoid if you’d rather not read that sort of thing. This is another reason why I rarely find thrillers “enjoyable” reads, particularly when there are children in danger.
So… as you might have guessed, although this was a good book, I think I’ll be taking another break from psychological thrillers for a while!
Overall: I have no hesitation in recommending The Accident to fans of psychological thrillers who are looking for a face-paced, gripping read and willing to overlook the more implausible aspects of character and plot.