Publication: 21st February 2019 – Michael Joseph
Then . . .
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.
Now. . .
The email arrived in my inbox two months ago. I almost deleted it straight away, but then I clicked OPEN:
I know what happened to your sister. It’s happening again . . .
C. J. Tudor is a master storyteller. Her debut novel, The Chalk Man, kept me completely captivated and now she is back with an immersive, sinister, and twisty new novel.
In THE TAKING OF ANNIE THORNE, we follow the protagonist, Joe Thorne as he goes back to his hometown, Arnhill, where he’s found a job as a teacher in the local school. But why he is moving back to the place he had promised himself he was never going back to? What has that to do with her sister’s disappearance twenty-five years earlier? Or with the homicide-suicide with which the book opens? We slowly find out as Joe meets old and new friends and revisits his memories of his childhood.
First let’s talk about the protagonist. I loved the character of Joe Thorne. Running away from a troubled present, he decides it’s time to confront the past and goes back to the place that many people can’t wait to leave. His sarcasm and wit made me laugh and got him into trouble, but it’s clear that he is hiding something.
“Arnhill is a grim little village where a lot of bad things have happened. Jinxed. Cursed.”
Now let’s talk about the setting. Arnhill is a small village in Nottinghamshire. A former mining town, Arnhill is a character itself. Untouched by progress, grey, and in decaying, Arnhill is the perfect setting for this chilling and dark novel. Everything is still the same in the village and the villagers don’t welcome back Joe with open arms. Also, there is the house that Joe Thorne rents during his stay. It was formerly occupied by a mother who first killed her young son and then herself and strange things happen in there giving the house a creeping, threatening, don’t-open-that-door feeling.
The story is suspenseful, unpredictable, and riveting with a touch of supernatural and horror (the one-eyed doll Abbie Eyes really gave me the creeps). Carefully plotted and full of twists, THE TAKING OF ANNIE THORNE is a novel that will leave you holding your breath the entire time and if you liked The Chalk Man, then you are going to love it.
I’d like to thank Jenny Platt and Michael Joseph for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for providing me with a copy of this brilliant and engrossing novel.
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.