Hellllllooooooo there. Today is finally the day that I can share my thoughts on this book! I know a lot of you are already dying to read this book, so I hope this review gets you even more excited for it! And for those who haven’t heard of C. J. Tudor’s latest because you’ve been hiding in a cave or something, no worries – I got you, I’ll get you up to speed on its brilliance in this review and have you excited too!
The prologue sucks you in and sets the tone for what lies ahead in this plot: darkness, suspicion and violence; all pieced together with sharp edged twists that leave you wanting more, but also scared of what will happen next. My heart was racing and I finished this is in one long, satisfying sitting – Tudor’s writing took my breath away.
So how do I write this review without spoiling the plot for you? I’m going to try my very best and focus on high level aspects: the plot, the characters, the writing and how it compared to Tudor’s first: The Chalk Man
The main character is lured back to his home town after receiving an email linking to his childhood, more specifically what happened to his sister. He takes up the vacant teaching position in his old school and begins to fish out any news relating to current and past events. Except he’s not all that he seems either, he’s brought trouble along with him too.
I loved the multi aspects of this plot, whilst it was dark and sometimes violent, Tudor brings lightness with her clever writing, that has a pinch of wit and a sprinkle of humour laced into every page.
This book will attract thriller and crime genre lovers but interestingly, it’ll actually be pushing you outside of your usual boundaries and you’ll be dabbling in something that perhaps you’d never usually read. Without calling out the other genre that Tudor has introduced into the mix, I’ll just give a hint: The Chalk Man had already done a very sly and subtle nod in this particular direction.
I like this new hybrid genre that Tudor has introduced. Yes, everyone has linked her work to being similar to Steven King; but since I’m not a fan of King’s books (don’t judge me!!!), it’s clear that Tudor has shifted the balance of genres in a way that appeals to me. I believe this is why The Chalk Man did so well, as will this book, because it’ll appeal to a wider audience as it’s not as ‘niche’ as being in a specific genre category.
The setting was carefully crafted to be the perfect backdrop to this plot: adding to the darkness, making you feel unwelcome and just darn right creepy. Claustrophobia will sweep over you, building tension and ramping up your heart rate.
The characters are developed through past and present, and whilst you’re not going to fall in love with any of these characters, they add the sustenance this plot needs to thrive, and they become a platform for Tudor to build on the edginess already felt from the setting.
A cracking read, in my mind it was even better than The Chalk Man; it’s intriguing, spooky and oozing in suspense.
Has it tickled your fancy? The Taking of Annie Thorne is OUT on 21st February 2019, published by Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin.
Need persuading more? There are plenty of posts going up over this month and next to tempt you even more!
Thank you to Jenny Platt for organising this fabulous tour and providing me with an early proof for me to read!
Until next time, Chloé x