Monday, 30 March 2015

Book Review #12 / The Accident

The Accident by CL Taylor

If I was judging a book by it's cover, then I probably wouldn't have chosen to read this. I just don't like the black background and the chunky, capitalised text. But the fact it was only £2, teamed with a super suspenseful synopsis, meant I decided to give it a go. And I'm really glad I did as I managed to finish this in just one sitting!


You took my child, Now I'll take yours...

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 has 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 her daughter's private world. In her hunt to discover the truth, Sue begins to mistrust everyone close to her and is compelled to delve into the murky depths of her own past.

Sue will do anything to protect her daughter. But what if she is the real reason that Charlotte is in danger?

The Accident is one of those thrillers that may not be the best book you'll ever read but will almost certainly have you hooked, from start to finish, with it's many twists and turns.

The novel's narrator is Sue Jackson, a married mum of one, whose 15 year old daughter is currently in a coma after stepping in front of a bus. The chapters flit between the present, as she struggles to cope with her daughter Charlotte being in a coma, and to 1990 where we see snippets of Sue's diary entries which she wrote in her early twenties.

In the diary entries, Sue talks about her relationship with a former partner, James, who mentally and physically abused her. This helps us understand more about Sue's character, in the present, as it's soon revealed she suffers from anxiety. 

From the synopsis, it's clear that Sue's past is going to hold some form of clue to the present day and, possibly, to why Charlotte is in a coma but it's not as clean cut as that.

There are many different avenues - and dead ends - that are explored before we finally find out exactly why Charlotte stepped in front of that bus and Sue soon realises that she her daughter was hiding a lot from her.

It's really easy to empathise with Sue as she really is desperate to find out why her daughter chose to try and end her life and is willing to do whatever it takes - despite her husband, and the police, often been skeptical of her ideas.

My only criticism of The Accident is that I would have liked to find out more about Charlotte,  perhaps from her own point of view. Early on in the book, Sue finds Charlotte's diary and the last 
entry suggests that she did intentionally step in front of the bus - despite her parents hoping it had just been an accident. I think it would have been good if the author could have included more of Charlotte's diary extracts so we could get to know her a bit more and, perhaps, understand her character better.

However, I think the author wanted to highlight how little Sue knew about her own daughter so, we as the readers, are kept in the dark too. 

Overall, I really enjoyed The Accident and managed to finish it one sitting as I just couldn't bring myself to put it down.

If you're after a dark, mysterious thriller filled with secrets and scandal then this is the book for you. 

Have you read this book or would you like to? What have you been reading lately?

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