THE TAK­ING OF AN­NIE THORNE

DRUM - - CHILL OUT - – NATALIE CAVERNELIS

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.

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