This review is written with thanks to Anne Cater for my copy of The Taking Of Annie Thorne.
The new spine-tingling, sinister thriller from the Sunday Timesbestselling author of 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.
Having only read The Chalk Man earlier this year, I was excited to see what CJ Tudor would do next, and I was determined not to be quite so late to the party with The Taking Of Annie Thorne. Although the story lines were different, I felt the same influences coming through in the writing and couldn’t wait to delve deeper into Joe Thorne’s life.
Tudor is brilliant at setting a scene. I am not strictly speaking a 1980s child, but looking back at Joe’s memories through the different timelines in the novel gave me nostalgia for the games we used to play, the sweets we used to eat and the family traditions we used to have. I grew up in a small town with a community similar to Arnhill, where everyone knows each other and could sympathise with his feelings towards it. I was intrigued by Joe’s childhood and wanted to know about the things that had happened to make Joe the person he is today.
The Taking Of Annie Thorne is not exactly scary, but Tudor definitely builds an uneasy atmosphere. The sounds of the bugs “chittering” was an image that made a particular impact on me. The tension is always bubbling away underneath and I was desperate to discover what had happened to Annie,as her disappearance is something which is alluded to several times throughout the novel.
As a central character, Joe is not always particularly likeable. He’s an addict with a tendency to lie and be violent, and he’s certainly not an ideal role model for the young people in his care as a teacher. However, he is clearly troubled by elements of his past, and I really liked his relationship with Annie and his protectiveness towards her, and by the time I had finished reading, I could not help but hope that Joe would exorcise his demons and find happiness.
I cannot wait to see what CJ Tudor does next!
The Taking Of Annie Thorne is available from Amazon.