The Taking of Annie Thorne
C. J. Tudor
21st February 2019
Publisher: Michael Joseph Books
Previous books: The Chalk Man
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. But she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, say what had happened to her. 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.
The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor is a chilling novel with a voice strongly inspired by Stephen King. This is a well-written ghostly horror novel which will leave you discomforted on the edge of your seat.
Joe Thorne’s sister went missing when she was eight years old. Then she returned. Joe will now return to his home town as a teacher to uncover the truth about what really happened to his sister back then and to see why it might be happening again. Although, he will not be welcomed nicely or easily and ghosts from the town’s past will continue to rise. Who will win out, and will Joe ever know the truth?
What I thought…
The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor is incredibly well-written with a great plot. Tudor’s use of language is impeccable and I enjoyed the general feel of the novel. With a plot and characterisation that reflects Stephen King in many ways, Tudor draws on a lot of literary inspiration which can be appreciated greatly.
This book is very unsettling all the way through, with scenes that will make your skin crawl in the best way. From beetles in the toilet to the school bullying, there are parts which I could not read out of context without feeling rather ill. I liked the slow build up to the ghost-story elements, dropping hints here and there. It makes the novel unpredictable, while the characters and setting ground the story.
It does have to be said, however, that maybe too much inspiration is taken from King’s Pet Semetary and IT. Pet Semetary heavily influences the plot, while IT influences the characters much like in The Chalk Man. I must admit that it was uncomfortable reading some of the discriminatory conversation in 2019 which was only just acceptable when King wrote similarly in IT.
Overall, this is a good novel. I like Tudor’s writing style and enjoy the realistic nature of her characters and setting, even when faced with unrealistic and ghostly goings on. I believe that Tudor could be just as good a writer as King if she were to draw a little less inspiration from him as she really is an excellent author. I would recommend this to lovers of gradual ghost stories, Stephen King and The Chalk Man. Thank you Michael Joseph Books for my proof copy of The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor in exchange for this stop on the blog tour.