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 . . .
‘Confirms Tudor as Britain’s female Stephen King. There is a creeping dread on every page’ Daily Mail
‘Shows that her excellent The Chalk Man was no one-off in matching Stephen King for creepiness’ Sunday Express’s Bestseller Predictions 2019
‘Written with such skill it’s hard to believe this is only her second book. It gives King a run for his money’ James Oswald, author of the Inspector McLean series
‘Dark, gothic and utterly compelling’ J. P. Delaney, author of Believe Me and The Girl Before
‘Deliciously creepy . . . An absolute corker of a book’ Riley Sager, bestselling author of The Last Time I Lied
‘Tudor’s 2018 The Chalk Man was a standout mystery novel with a fresh voice and a spooky plot. This is even better’ Washington Post
If I were to tell you that I was excited to receive #TheTakingofAnnieThorne, it’d seriously be one of the hugest understatements of my life. I absolutely loved The Chalk Man and I could not wait to ‘tear open my bookpost and get straight into C.J Tudor’s next read. She has an incredible gift for grabbing you by the lapels and pulling you right into her stories and I literally barely looked up until I’d turned the final page.
I love the way that C.J Tudor’s books give us a diverse range of voices so that we build up a steady accumulation of detail, just like you would in real life. I’m a real true-crime junkie and this definitely filled the gap that Serial, S-Town and Making a Murderer have left in my life. Annie’s disappearance is another fantastic tale that you really feel comes alive as you uncover more and more details about the background to it as the novel unfolds In the same way that I felt a strong connection with Adnan after reading Serial, I really felt like I’d come to know this family by the final page and although I’m firmly committed to my ‘No Spoilers’ rule, I can’t wait to have a good chat with someone else who’s read #TheTakingofAnnieThorne so that we can mull over it together and talk about what a fantastic creation it is.
It’s even the kind of book that is a physical pleasure to read – the gorgeous cover and the striking design mean that #TheTakingofAnnieThorne appeals to all of your senses at once – it’s not just the story that made me love it so much but the book as an actual physical object. I loved the creepy paper doll and got loads of questions about it when I was reading it on the train.
As a fellow teacher, I found Joe Thorne to be a fantastic character – and I felt like Arnhill really came alive for me through this story. I absolutely love the way that the mining town background added to the narrative and in terms of making the setting play a real part in the story, C.J Tudor has definitely succeeded. I am a huge fan of Stephen King as a writer and like his novels, this feels absolutely real in every way and I almost feel like I am able to walk these streets with Joe and see the town and its secrets through his eyes – it really is so evocative and skillfully realised.
I also liked the way that like the very best crime novels– C.J Tudor allows space for our own feelings and responses. The circumstances around Annie’s disappearance are not tied up in a neat little package with the ‘why’ on top tied up with a pretty pink bow. There is enough room for us to ask ourselves questions about who we believe and why that makes #TheTakingofAnnieThorne such an involving and ultimately rewarding experience. I found myself genuinely being convinced to see things from a constantly shifting perspective as the novel bore me towards the conclusion and this was a rollercoaster ride that I definitely didn’t want to get off…
This book has a little bit of everything – mystery, a ‘true crime’ feel, a fresh and interesting structure, credible characters and a real sense of chill and menace. As you can probably tell, I loved #TheTakingofAnnieThorne and felt like sleeping with the light on for about four days after reading it. It is a book that you’ll want to pass on to other people so that they’ll have had the same experience you did, reading it for the first time. Buy a copy here so that you can find out how brilliant it is for yourself
I’d like to thank the lovely Jenny Platt for inviting me to take part in the blog tour, it was such a privilege to spread the book love for a book that I loved reading so much. I bloody love this book and cannot recommend it enough. I’m really jealous of all the people who’ve still got the pleasure of reading it and The Chalk Man ahead of them. Get out there and experience these fabulous reads for yourself as soon as you can!
Writer On The Shelf
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