Review: The Accident by C.L. Taylor (4/5)

Sunday 6 April 2014
"The person you trust most may only be telling you half the story …

Fast-paced, suspenseful, this is a book with more twists than a helter-skelter that will keep you reading late into the night. Perfect for fans of Before I Go to Sleep and Gone Girl.

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 …"

After reading books from the likes of Samantha Hayes I have really gotten into this genre of books of late and so was very excited to start this one. The blurb certainly sounded interesting enough. Also with it being a debut novel there weren't any massive expectations, I was just hoping for an enjoyable read that would keep me guessing however after finishing it I can say it was a very well written book and I look forward to seeing what comes next from this author!

The book is written in first person. I always enjoy a book written in the first person as it helps me relate to and understand the character better. We learn that Sue's daughter is in a coma after deliberately walking in front of a bus. Sue has found and read her daughter's diary after the accident and read an entry which said keeping a secret was killing her. At the end of each chapter we go back in time to 1990, these bits are like diary entries, where we see Sue meet a man called James who she goes on to have a relationship with. Back in the present day however and she is married to Brian, so straightaway I was wondering what happened with James. Especially as she talks as if they (her and James) were madly in love. As the story progresses however things become clearer.

In the present day Sue will do anything to find out why her daughter chose to try and end her own life rather than talk to her about her problems. I found that I definitely felt for Sue and could feel her pain and confusion at what was going on. As she roots through her husband's things for a connection to what happened with her daughter she finds out Brian has been lying to her, he also cheated on her five years ago and she's worried he may be again. We are also then introduced to more characters, Oli, Brian's son. Oli's best friend Danny and his girlfriend Keisha. As always it's hard to talk about the story, especially in a book like this as these books are mostly about discovering information as you read and then piecing it all together to solve the mystery. I did find the first bit of the book a bit slow going, it was about 40% or so on Kindle before the pace picked up. 

We are introduced to a lot of characters and there are various different strands to the story but it wasn't hard to keep track of. It was very much a jigsaw puzzle read in that you had to try and put all the pieces together to work out what was going on, and there were a lot of pieces! That said though the book did keep me guessing throughout. Clues are dropped all the way through and just when you think you've cracked it you realise you haven't. I did find some parts of the story a bit farfetched but overall it was enjoyable. For a debut novel this is a pretty impressive read. I will certainly be keeping an eye out for the author's work in the future and definitely recommend this book to fans of Samantha Hayes etc. a very enjoyable read that kept me guessing until the very end.
Thanks to the author and publisher for the review copy from Net Galley
The Accident will be released on April 10th and you can order it in paperback or on Kindle from Amazon
You can follow the author on Twitter or find out more on her website 
Also check out this fantastic review over on Random Things Through My Letterbox where you can also win a copy of The Accident. I'm a little jealous that I read my copy on Kindle and not the way Anne did!

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