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Ratings and Book Reviews (6 53 star ratings
6 reviews

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4.2 out of 5
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
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  • 3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

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    This is a must read

    In 1992 Joe Thorne’s life changed dramatically and not for the better. This was the year he got in with the local unruly gang of kids, the year they discovered a secret and the year his sister went missing for 48 hours and returned a different child. Now Joe has been sent a mysterious email that tells him ‘I know what happened to your sister. It’s happening again.’ Heading back to the small town he vowed never to return to, Arnhill in Nottingham, Joe manages to get himself a teaching job at his old high school and soon discovers that not much has changed in Arnhill. His life has been out of control since he was a teenager partly because he needed to know what happened to Annie and if heading back to the place that haunts him is the only way to find out, then so be it. I’ve had C.J. Tudors book ‘The Chalk Man’ since it’s release day but unfortunately, I’ve never found the time to read it, after reading this book though I am making reading it a priority. You see C.J. Tudor has a way with words, they just flow and make you lose track of time. The plot so rich and inviting and scary at the same time. Not because it has any big horror/scary scenes, but because you are left on edge waiting for something to happen, something you can feel coming and if it’s crawling on your skin yet you can’t put the book down. Joe Thorne has not had an easy life since that fateful year of 1992. This was the year his life started to spiral out of control. When his sister went missing the whole village went looking for her, but when she returned something wasn’t right and from this day Joe became frightened of his little eight-year-old sister Annie. She would talk to herself, do strange things and often just stare at him. The house also started to smell like something had died in it. Annie wasn’t Annie anymore. As an adult, Joe tried to push the past behind him but he knew he couldn’t get away forever and with mounting gambling debts hanging over his head and the strange email, Joe knew that it was time to lay the past to rest. The characters, the scenery, and the whole plot are so well thought out and executed. The book is told from Joe Thorne’s POV and whilst most of the chapters are set in the present there are a few that are set in 1992 and show you exactly what happened that year. The references to 1992 brought back so many memories as Joe is the same age as me and so the talk about wham bars and Walkmans had me feeling nostalgic. I read the book in two sittings as I could not put it down, it’s one of those books you think just one more chapter and one turns into ten. It is so good. It gave me a buzz waiting to find out what happened to Annie and who was the mysterious message sender. I had to fight myself not to turn to the back and cheat to find out as I knew I would ruin the build up. If I haven’t already emphasised enough to you, this is a must read and I can see this book winning awards, it is amazing.
  • 2 person found this review helpful

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    A great thriller

    When Joe Thorne receives an email with the words “I know what happened to your sister. It's happening again” he knows he must go back. Years ago his younger sister went missing, only to return 48 hours later. Joe seemed to be the only one to notice she wasn't the same when she returned. Being in debt through gambling he decides to leave town and apply for a teaching job at Arnhill Academy, a school he used to attend as a youngster, but not everyone is happy to see him back. C J Tudor has a brilliant way of drawing you in and this one is no different. I enjoyed the way you learn about Joe's life, past and present, then bit by bit through flashbacks you also find out just what happened to 8 year old Annie when she went missing all those years ago. As the truth comes out not only is it full of shocks, twists and turns but you also realise why some are not happy at his return. I have no hesitation in recommending this book which gets five stars from me. My grateful thanks to NetGalley and Michael Joseph for my copy.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Justified comparisons to Stephen King

    Completely creepy, darkly funny and a real pageturner. Just like with The Chalk Man I couldn't predict where this one was going and loved it all. The comparisons to Stephen King - particularly early works - are completely justified!
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    The taking of Annie Thorne

    Wow this book was not what I expected at all. It really got me in from beginning, unfortunately the last few chapters were quite scary and I had nightmares 2 nights in a row. I slept with the light on last night, scary as it was for me, I had to finish reading! The end was a bit confusing for me. I was thinking I may have missed something. I’ve not read a book like this before, but have read Dean Kootnz and Stephen King but this was different again.
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    A good paranormal read

    When Annie disappears and then shows up again a day later she seems to be completely changed from the girl her brother knows and loves. What happened to her and how can her brother Joe, now so much older stop history from repeating again? The Taking of Annie Thorne is my first book by C J Tudor and that perhaps explains why it surprised me and was very different to the book I thought I was going to read. I had imagined it to be a child abduction crime thriller, whereas what I got was a tense drama with a dash of the paranormal thrown in – very reminiscent of Stephen Kings early work. The story itself is told solely from the perspective of Joe Thorne – a very unreliable narrator with many flaws whose sister disappeared many years ago. He’s back in his hometown where he suspects events like the disappearance of his sister are starting to happen again. The narrative flicks between flashbacks of Joe and his gang in the past which is more a gritty tale of growing up in Arnhill and Joe in the present trying to get by with his debts and bad habits. It’s a good read and Joe really draws you in to his seedy world whilst drip feeding you what happened in his past. I found the characters to be very realistic and interesting which drew me at odds with the paranormal element of what the boys had found underground. I kept half expecting the horror aspects to be rationally explained away but this isn’t the case and it meant the book did jar for me in places. From the blurb I wanted to know more about the underground mine, more about how Annie had come back ‘different’ and I felt that it wasn’t really explained enough for the book to have much of a paranormal ‘weight’ behind it. The horror aspect just felt a bit like a get out of jail free clause for the author than a great plot device. Overall I enjoyed The Taking of Annie Thorne but I did feel that the paranormal aspects jarred with a gritty and realistic story of a troubled man. Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Books UK – Michael Joseph for a chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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