Rob lives in North East England. He works in Recruitment by day, and is usually to be found knee deep in a pile of books as a reader and reviewer by night. He has recently signed with The Blair Partnership, and his debut crime novel is currently doing the rounds of publishers inboxes.
It starts with an uncomfortable school run encounter.
Jo Blackmore's morning takes an unexpected turn, when a stranger approaches her asking for a lift. This in itself isn't remarkable, but the stranger knows her name, her husband's name, and somehow has one of her daughter’s gloves. The stranger's veiled threats are enough to panic Jo. She's had a rough few years after a miscarriage, and suffering from agoraphobia, and the strangers assertion that Jo's husband, Max, has stolen something from her, sends Jo's already troubled mind racing off into dark places. Everyone seems against her - the police, social services, and even her own husband, but she's determined to do whatever it takes to keep her daughter safe, no matter what the cost.
Callie Taylor starts ramping up the tension right from the opening scene. A central character with mental health issues always gives the reader that interesting sense of ambiguity. Is what Jo has to go through all real and present danger, or just a perceived threat, magnified through the lens of her agoraphobia? A few plot points weren't too hard to second guess, but that was the only thing keeping me from award it the full five stars. You're well and truly immersed in Jo's visceral, tangible fears, and that’s where the craft of the author really shows through, making the reader experience every twist, every reveal and every worry as if they're looking out through Jo's eyes. If this is the first book you read by Callie Taylor, it certainly won't be your last.