THE TAKING OF ANNIE THORNE
BY CJ TUDOR (MICHAEL JOSEPH) R219*
CJ Tudor wowed with her debut novel The Chalk Man last year and her follow-up is a similar comingof-age story reminiscent of Stephen King.
It begins with the bodies of Julia and Ben, a mother and son, being found in a cottage in the British town of Arnhill.
The narrator, Joe Thorne, then takes up the story as he returns to his childhood town to replace Julia as English teacher at his old school.
It’s not his dream job but he doesn’t have many options as he battles a gambling addiction.
He also has ulterior motives after getting an anonymous email saying, “I know what happened to your sister. It’s happening again.”
Joe’s little sister, Annie, went missing when she was eight. She was gone for 48 hours and was never the same again after she was found. Joe reflects on what led to her disappearance as he pieces together what’s going on in the town.
It’s a riveting page-turner but you’re left wanting more as the plot twists are not on par with The Chalk Man and the horror element feels a little underwhelming.