I am so incredibly excited for this post as today is my official spot on a very exciting blog tour! The Taking of Annie Thorne (known as The Hiding Place in US territories) is the latest mystery thriller by C. J. Tudor, I am so honoured to review it!
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 . . .
After reading Tudor’s debut, The Chalk Man (CLICK HERE for my review), I could not believe my eyes when I was asked to be on the blog tour for her newest novel, The Taking of Annie Thorne. However, I wondered if Tudor could sustain the level of creepy, supernatural mystery from her first novel. I was not correct in my thinking- I was blown out of the water! If anything, The Taking of Annie Thorne is even better than The Chalk Man (I know, how could I possibly say this?! It takes the top spot on the leader-board for me though!)
In her newest mystery thriller, we see Tudor revisit her creepy narrative style switching back and forth between then and now. Annie disappeared as a child, leaving Joe broken- but then she came back. Joe realises she should have stayed missing.
Like The Chalk Man, we have a number of characters who we see when they are teenagers, then again as adults. The character development is swift yet strong and still leaves elements of surprise till the very end, creating tension throughout the novel. A gang of brutish lanky teenagers resurface as boisterous thugs later in life, leaving Joe somewhat broken and unhinged (again). He wants to find out the truth about Annie, yet some secrets are better off dead and buried.
I felt the backdrop was perfect for a novel like this- small English town, bad school record, no one leaves or moves on kind of thing. Joe’s fight with his own past, ever-present by his guilty conscience, only fuels the reader’s curiosity to carry on. Joe is logical, sarcastic (which is great for comedic relief), typical teacher. He is also, at times, unstable, a liar, and up to his eyes in gambling debt. Because this book is written in the first-person, the reader is invited to delve into his mind and figure out when he is telling the truth and when he is lying- but it’s not as simple as that. The reader has to constantly second guess themselves as Joe is always one step ahead. He is the anti-hero we are semi-routing for, as when supernatural forces appear to close in, even the reader may think Joe must tread no further.
I particularly liked the supernatural elements in the story. Here, we see Tudor abandon all of reality, instead creating an escapism for things that can’t be explained, causing them to thrive (and stay on the mind!). Many times, I saw the shadow in the corner of my eye, felt my ribs contract, unable to shake the feeling that ‘something’ is out there.
Tudor is a master of mystery and suspense. I am thrilled to be on this blog tour and cannot believe how amazing this book was. I trust Tudor as an author and can’t wait to see what she next has planned!
I would say this book is a fantastic blend of mystery and superstition, causing even the strongest of minds to be afraid of repeating the past.
For anyone wondering, “I read The Chalk Man, but I don’t know if Tudor’s new book will be as good”, I will tell you now, IT IS! EVEN MORE SO! And for those that haven’t read The Chalk Man, YOU REALLY SHOULD! (read this one first though because I cannot stress enough how much I loved this book).
Crime fan? READ THIS BOOK! Mystery fan? READ THIS BOOK! Thriller fan? READ THIS BOOK! Supernatural fan? READ THIS BOOK! Stephen King fan? READ THIS BOOK! Like books? READ THIS BOOK! This novel will not disappoint (although, I advise you reading in the day time, or at least with a light on because it gets really spooky at times!)
How to get your hands on a copy
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the tour, see below!
Thank you to Jenny Platt from Penguin Random House for my tour spot and proof copy!
Happy reading! Lx