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The Taking of Annie Thorne by CJ Tudor
‘Because when my sister was eight years old, she disappeared.
At the time, I thought it was the worst thing that could ever happen.
And then she came back……’
The Taking of Annie Thorne is the second book from CJ Tudor and was published on 21st February with Michael Joseph. CJ Tudor’s debut, The Chalk Man became a Sunday Times bestseller in both paperback and hardback and sold in thirty-nine territories. Her writing style has been compared to that of Stephen King, with the man himself making the comment “If you like my stuff, you’ll like this.”
With rave reviews across the board, The Chalk Man became a huge success leading to great expectations for CJ Tudor’s next book…..no pressure then!!
The Taking of Annie Thorne takes the reader directly into a macabre scene, with the discovery of two bodies in a small cottage in a small town. The deaths are very mysterious with no obvious explanation given, only a shocking message left scrawled across the wall of a bedroom, written in blood.
Joe Thorne makes the journey back to his home town, Arnhill, for a job interview at the local school, the school Joe himself used to attend. Joe’s return to Arnhill raises a few eyebrows, as the more mature villagers would remember what happened to Joe and his family many years ago. Joe is obviously hiding something and is very vague in the job interview. But the school is in difficulty and with a shortage of suitable candidates, Joe is offered a teaching position with immediate effect.
Joe isn’t well. Suffering from obvious addictions, the years haven’t been kind to Joe. He is in serious financial debt but a trip back home, to where it all went wrong, offers Joe the only solution he can think of to survive the life and death situation he has put himself in.
Arnhill is an old mining town and CJ Tudor creates the perfect visual of a dark and dreary place, a town where there is little hope and where a constant shadow lurks over the town. Something is clearly not right in Arnhill and with Joe’s return, old memories are dredged up and old horrors are returned to.
1992 was the year when life took a very sinister turn for Joe Thorne and his family. It was the year that Joe’s little sister Annie disappeared for two days. Up to this point, life for the Thorne family, had it’s ups and downs and for Joe his school days were an unhappy period in his young life. Always an outsider, Joe was at the butt end of many cruel jokes and comments at school but he could always find joy in the company of Annie. She brought a brightness into his world, making his life bearable. But as Joe journeyed into his teenage years he gravitated toward a bunch of misfits, a group of teenagers who were up for adventure and trouble, leading Joe down a very dark path indeed.
One night Annie disappeared under very sinister circumstances. Everyone was traumatised and a search was immediately underway but it was to be of no avail. Nobody could locate Annie. After forty-eight hours Annie was discovered, in her pyjamas, looking very disheveled but seemingly unharmed. As the days went by, Joe became aware that something was just not right with Annie. Her demeanor, her actions, were all creeping Joe out and he was convinced that something really bad had happened to his Annie
‘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.’
CJ Tudor takes the reader on a thrilling, dark and creepy journey as the story of what did happen to Annie Thorne is revealed…well kind of! And here’s the thing, this book is all about the building of the suspense and the creation of a spine-chilling atmosphere, forcing you, the reader, to your own conclusions. Packed with ominous insights and menacing images, our minds are taken to a macabre place, a place of nightmares and sleepless nights.
I haven’t read Stephen King, so I’m not in a position to make any comparisons to his writing, but there are plenty who did after reading The Chalk Man….
Daily Mail – ‘There are shades of Stephen King when the reality blends into the sinister’
Daily Express – ‘Reminiscent of the master of horror Stephen King’
The Taking of Annie Thorne is described as ‘the spine-tingling new thriller to keep you up all night’ and I would have to agree. It’s a combination of so many genres. It’s a horror. It’s a mystery. It’s a thriller. It’s psychological. Bringing all these together, CJ Tudor has done it again folks, with another striking cover and a tale that is guaranteed to disturb and to rattle your thoughts. Where will she go next??
Eerie. Atmospheric. Chilling.
(c) Swirl and Thread
Order your copy online here.