There are no two ways around it – C.J. Tudor is a storyteller extraordinaire. She can write a terrifying tale, one that will burrow into the deepest recesses of your mind and have you frightened without being entirely sure why. It’s the creation of an overall atmosphere of fright and terror, and she excels at this.
Tudor once again skirts the line between horror and thriller in this sophomore book, similar genre-wise to her breakout debut, The Chalk Man (a MUST read!).
A personal favorite trait is that Tudor is the queen of showing vs. telling – everything is implied rather than “told” – a true gift for a writer. And please pay attention, dear reader, because nothing here is a throw away comment or an oversight, every single detail is wrapped into the story one way or another.
The characters are spot on, the setting takes on a life of its own, and you will be fully immersed into the storyline, dying to find out how it will come together.
Unfortunately, I feel as if I was left with more questions than answers in the end (perhaps that was the point? Or perhaps it’s user error and I missed a few points) and I would love to sit down with this author and chat over coffee. One day, maybe!
Thank you to Crown Publishing for my advance copy. This book will be available February 2019.
Joe never wanted to come back to Arnhill. After the way things ended with his old gang–the betrayal, the suicide, the murder–and after what happened when his sister went missing, the last thing he wanted to do was return to his hometown. But Joe doesn’t have a choice. Because judging by what was done to that poor Morton kid, what happened all those years ago to Joe’s sister is happening again. And only Joe knows who is really at fault.
Lying his way into a teaching job at his former high school is the easy part. Facing off with former friends who are none too happy to have him back in town–while avoiding the enemies he’s made in the years since–is tougher. But the hardest part of all will be returning to that abandoned mine where it all went wrong and his life changed forever, and finally confronting the shocking, horrifying truth about Arnhill, his sister, and himself. Because for Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn’t the day his sister went missing.
It was the day she came back.
With the same virtuosic command of character and pacing she displayed in The Chalk Man, CJ Tudor has once again crafted an extraordinary novel that brilliantly blends harrowing psychological suspense, a devilishly puzzling mystery, and enough shocks and thrills to satisfy even the most seasoned reader.