“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 . . .”
The tricky second book. I was a huge fan of C.J. Tudor’s debut, the totally unmissable The Chalk Man which blew my socks off and left me a little bit in love with Ed, the main character. I often still think about him and that brilliant ending (book hangover, much?). So there was nothing on earth that was going to stop me from reading Tudor’s second novel, The Taking of Annie Thorne. I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher but this has in no way influenced my review.
I loved it. The Taking of Annie Thorne is just as dark, just as creepy and just as brilliant as The Chalk Man (although I will put my hand up here and confess that I loved The Chalk Man just a teeny tiny smidge more). There are definite similarities between the two books; a small claustrophobic town, our main protagonist is a teacher (there are other similarities between Ed and Joe which I won’t go into detail about here), strange creepy inexplicable things happening to normal everyday people. But I enjoyed that, it added to the story for me.
I found our main protagonist to be instantly likeable. He has a troubled past after discovering his sister, that’s Annie, has changed beyond recognition after she went missing one night. He’s flawed (definitely flawed) with an addiction to gambling and a penchant for stretching the truth but when he receives an email telling him that ‘it’s happening again’ he feels he must return to the town of his youth and see for himself. There are elements of the supernatural at play in this novel which would normally turn me right off but the way Tudor has written her story had me engrossed. I didn’t care that I didn’t really believe in certain aspects of the story. What is reading if not escapism? I was captivated from the first page to the last and felt fully invested in Joe’s plight to discover the truth.
Would I recommend this book? Most definitely and I suggest if you haven’t read The Chalk Man you download that too. I’m a huge fan of horror/crime crossover novels and this one is another to add to the favourites list. Tudor’s writing is sublime and before you know it hours have passed and you’ve forgotten to pick the kids up from school (that didn’t happen…honest!). Deliciously creepy, totally addictive and the type of book I want to read over and over again. Don’t miss out on this exceptional book!
I chose to read and review an eARC of The Taking of Annie Thorne. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
The Taking of Annie Thorne by C.J. Tudor was published in the UK by Michael Joseph on 21st February 2019 and is available in hardback, ebook and audio formats with the paperback to follow in July (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): ⋆ amazon.co.uk ⋆ amazon.com ⋆ Waterstones ⋆ BookDepository ⋆ Goodreads ⋆
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.