Today I’m on the blog tour for The Taking of Annie Thorne, the new novel by CJ Tudor, and I’m excited to bring you my review. Read on to find out more and see what I thought…
Title: The Taking of Annie Thorne
Author: C J Tudor
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Joe never wanted to come back to Arnhill. After the way things ended with his old gang–the betrayal, the suicide, the murder–and after what happened when his sister went missing, the last thing he wanted to do was return to his hometown. But Joe doesn’t have a choice. Because judging by what was done to that poor Morton kid, what happened all those years ago to Joe’s sister is happening again. And only Joe knows who is really at fault.
Lying his way into a teaching job at his former high school is the easy part. Facing off with former friends who are none too happy to have him back in town–while avoiding the enemies he’s made in the years since–is tougher. But the hardest part of all will be returning to that abandoned mine where it all went wrong and his life changed forever, and finally confronting the shocking, horrifying truth about Arnhill, his sister, and himself. Because for Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn’t the day his sister went missing. It was the day she came back.
The Taking of Annie Thorne is a brilliantly creepy read which kept me completely hooked. It’s got mystery, weird occurrences and disturbed children (always high on the ‘creepiness’ scale!) plus a satisfyingly dark storyline, but still manages to be almost convincing – worryingly so. I don’t want to give much away, but I could picture most of this actually happening (minus the slight – and only very slight – supernatural element, which I’m pleased to say didn’t negatively impact the great plot for me).
To start with, I had no idea if I liked Joe, or if I was supposed to hate him. He’s a really mixed up character, and he definitely has his faults (which I liked), but as the novel went on I really warmed to him, and the more I read about what he’s been through, the more interesting he got! He also brings some humour to the story which provides a bit of light relief at just the right times.
Though there are some horrible characters in The Taking of Annie Thorne, I felt like the people in this book were pretty believable and convincing, which only added to the book’s shock value. I liked the blend of thriller and horror and feel like this more than lives up to the standards of C J Tudor’s previous novel, The Chalk Man.
The Taking of Annie Thorne is released in hardback on 21st February – pre-order here.
Many thanks to Bantam Press for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.
[About the Author]
C. J. Tudor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham, and has recently moved to Kent with her partner and young daughter. Her love of writing, especially the dark and macabre, started young. When her peers were reading Judy Blume, she was devouring Stephen King and James Herbert.
Over the years she has had a variety of jobs, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, dog walker, voiceover artist, television presenter, copywriter and, now, author. Her first novel, The Chalk Man, was a Sunday Times bestseller in both hardback and paperback and sold in thirty-nine territories.
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