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The Taking of Annie Thorne: 'Britain's female Stephen King' Daily Mail Hardcover – 21 Feb 2019
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Some writers have it, and some don't. C. J. Tudor has it big time . . . The Taking of Annie Thorne is terrific in every way (Lee Child)
Confirms Tudor as Britain's female Stephen King. There is a creeping dread on every page and, as you start a new chapter, a dark shadow over your shoulder. Tudor's punk prose style and her great eye for menace make this a book no one should read at night. (Daily Mail)
There is no sign of second-album syndrome: the mix of grotty provincial realism and amateur cold-case sleuthing works just as well here (The Sunday Times)
Dark, gothic and utterly compelling, The Taking of Annie Thorne pulls off a rare combination - an atmosphere of unsettling evil along with richly nuanced characterisation (J. P. Delaney, bestselling author of The Girl Before)
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)
Shows that her excellent The Chalk Man was no one-off in matching Stephen King for creepiness (Sunday Express's Bestseller Predictions 2019)
From the author of The Chalk Man comes an equally creepy story about missing children (Woman & Home)
Spine-tingling (Sunday Post)
Spine tinglingly good (Amy Lloyd, bestselling author of The Innocent Wife)
The Taking of Annie Thorne deserves every plaudit it receives (Richard Armitage, narrator of The Taking of Annie Thorne and star of The Hobbit)
From the Inside Flap
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. Though she couldn't, or wouldn't, say what had happened to her.
But 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 nearly two months ago.
I almost deleted it straight away - but I clicked Open:
I know what happened to your sister. It's happening again . . .
'Dark, compelling, unsettling' J. P. DelaneySee all Product description
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Could this book be as good as The Chalkman well let me tell you now it’s surpassed even my expectations! Below is my overview of this book and I can tell you now it’s not easy to review her books as you really do not want to give any of the plot away.
The book launches with a fantastic prologue which for me sets the scene for the rest of the book and even at that point so early on I knew I would be in for one hell of a roller coaster read. The prologue is very dark, gory and not for the faint hearted.
Joe Thorne, forty years old returns back to the mining village of Arnhill in Nottingham where he grew up, a gambler, heavy drinker and running away from his debts he is back to take a job as a teacher in his once local secondary school Arnhill Academy.
Joe has received an anonymous email telling him “I know what happened to your sister, it’s happening again”. Joe was always going to return as he needed to put the past to rest.
Twenty five years ago Joes sister Annie goes missing for forty eight hours, she returns unable to explain her absence but what returns certainly looks like his sister but something in Annie had changed.
The character Joe is likeable in some ways he’s not a good guy nor is he a bad guy, but Joe definitely has a secret.
Arnhill has a past, a creepy one at that, once a mining village it’s now a community on the decline after the mine shut, there has always been rumours about the mine being haunted but most people just believe they are just rumours , or are they ………
This book like its predecessor had me on the edge of my seat, shouting out at times too when I thought I’d solved the mystery, just when I thought I had, bump there was another twist. All the characters in the book have a past that isn’t always a nice one either, some just want answers. It’s prologue and epilogue are purely chilling and these alone as well as various other parts of the book had that spine tingling, hairs standing up on the back of your neck feeling.
Throughout the book there is the creepy, lurking feeling of dread, things hiding in shadows, chittering and skittering noises (love those descriptions). The book builds layer upon layer all set around finding out what really happened to Annie.
C.J Tudor this week has been quoted as being Britain’s female answer to Stephen King. What an accolade but looking back we haven’t had that many good female Horror writers, for me she’s the best, yet some people describe her books as mystery/ horror books and for the most I agree but as my partner said maybe there should be a cryptic horror genre where these books would fit in. The Chalkman was Tudors debut book and was very good, since then her writing has grown in confidence and this shines through in The Taking of Annie Thorne. Her writing is in a simple style, that doesn’t confuse you even though there are quite a number of characters and twists you never lose sight of anything in the story. She hooks you into the story from the beginning and doesn’t stop till the very last page of her book.
I already want to read this book again and look forward to the paperback copy coming out in July this year. Tudor has left me once again with a huge reading hangover as she did with The Chalkman but in a good way, for me she’s right up in my top five of my favourite authors of all time.
I’d love to see either of her books made into a film and do I think she’s the next female Stephen King ? Not at all she’s a horror writer that is much better in many ways than him, even though as an older teenager and into my twenties he was my favourite author I soon lost interest in his later books. For me she is the new horror writer of this century and I’m looking forward to reading The Other People which is due out next February.
I have gave this 5/5 on Goodreads and would have gone more stars if I’d been allowed.
Well done C. J. Tudor and I’m looking forward to her thoughts on my review .
Joe Throne is not you average teacher. He gains employment at his old secondary school through false references (this is not a spoiler) and from the beginning we know he has a dubious past and a shed load of secrets. He is by no means a likeable character. He is full of flaws - dishonest, a gambler, a drinker - yet there is an endearing quality to him. He returns to the small community of Arnhill, previously a mining town until the colliery shut, where he grew up. Arnhill has its own secrets. Few people who grew up there tend to leave, including the school bully from Joe's own school days and his henchmen. Joe has his reasons for coming back. Not only is he escaping gambling debts, but he has old scores to settle regarding the disappearance of his eight year old sister, Annie, when he last lived there. Annie returned after two days with no memory of where she had been, but she was much changed. A couple of years later, Annie was killed in a car crash.
In the background of the book is the eeriness and ghostly tales of the now derelict mine of Arnhill and what lies beneath. Does that somehow connect to Annie's disappearance? Does it have something to do with the opening murder suicide of a teacher and her young son who happened to live in the very same cottage Joe is renting?
If you like Stephen King, or a good psychological thriller that keeps you guessing, then read this book.
I loved the writing style, the way slowly but surely the events of the past and those of the present line up and we get the full picture. There's a lot going on in Joe Thorne's life but he can't let go of the past, there's something he has to deal with and everything is so vividly described you can't help but be drawn in.
So many books are a let down at the end for the reader after they've invested their time to read them, not this book - I can't praise it enough, and at the risk of sounding like a cliché, it's absolutely gripping!
I really enjoyed this book due to the characters and the story telling, set in two time settings. I was getting annoyed being interrupted by other people as I wanted to get to the end. I wanted to really visualise the locations.
Eager for the next one...