Well, I’m deeply honoured to be kicking off the blog tour for The Taking of Annie Thorne by C.J. Tudor. I actually had the chance to read the book before Christmas via NetGalley so when I saw there was a tour, I jumped at the chance to join in and tell you all about this amazing book! Thank you to Jenny Platt for inviting me to take part. But before I give you my thoughts, here’s the blurb.
One night, Annie went missing. Disappeared from her own bed. There were searches, appeals. Everyone thought the worst. And then, miraculously, after forty-eight hours, she came back. But she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, say what had happened to her.
Something happened to my sister. I can’t explain what. I just know that when she came back, she wasn’t the same. She wasn’t my Annie.
I didn’t want to admit, even to myself, that sometimes I was scared to death of my own little sister.
Wow! I loved C.J. Tudor’s debut, The Chalk Man but she’s definitely taken a step up with The Taking of Annie Thorne. The two books are similar with regional, small town settings and a past history that threatens the present day. Something happened to Joe Thorne’s little sister, Annie. Something dark, macabre and tragic. And it’s happening again.
I enjoyed the character of Joe and his cynical approach to life. He’s returned to his home town of Arnhill and his old school to teach English. Has he come back for noble reasons because he wants to make a difference? Possibly not. We quickly discover that Joe has secrets and vices too – alcohol being one of them. Now, as a former member of this profession, I’d like to point out that not all teachers are alcoholics but sarcasm does seem to be a default setting for most of us. Sometimes it’s the only way a teacher can cope. And it’s certainly the only way that Joe can cope as he confronts his past and the truth about his little sister.
Arnhill is a town that’s never recovered from the closure of its mining pit. It’s a place that most kids escape as soon as they’re old enough. So Joe Thorne’s reappearance causes ripples across the community and there are some who do their best to keep the truth buried. Can Joe dig through the layers of lies before its too late?
As the story unfolds, the creepiness that’s there from the beginning, begins to ratchet up until it reaches screaming pitch. Cleverly, C.J. Tudor doesn’t explain everything, leaving the reader’s imagination to conjure up possible answers. And I think I can get away with saying that the ending is just as chilling as the beginning. A truly magnificent book!
You can pre-order The Taking of Annie Thorne here.
C.J. Tudor lives 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 and sold in thirty-nine territories.