I recently finished reading ‘The Taking of Annie Thorne’ a chilling thriller by C J Tudor, which was recommended by Linda Hill, book reviewer extraordinaire. Visit Linda’s blog for fabulous book reviews, author interviews and lots of other bookish posts!
One night, Annie went missing.
Disappeared from her own bed. There were searches, appeals. Everyone thought the worst.
And then, after 48 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 is a brilliant thriller and a compelling read. I started it on Friday evening and finished it on Saturday after lunch.
It’s difficult to write a review without giving anything away. There are plenty of twists and turns, and a few red herrings, too! Most characters are not who they seem to be.
The beginning is intriguing as the story unfolds. The events are mostly told from Joe Thorne’s first person point of view, in the present tense, with some flashbacks to his childhood and his sister’s disappearance.
Joe is a flawed, but likeable character. I’m not sure why, because he’s done some unlikable things! I appreciate his fierce honesty as he grapples with his psychological issues and moral dilemmas. He knows he’s the main actor in a tragedy, yet in spite of the hopelessness of his situation, he’s struggling to make amends, help others and be a better person. He’s also a genuinely good teacher, concerned with his students’ wellbeing.
Joe does a lot of lying, however, he’s honest with himself and consequently the reader. Unfortunately, Joe doesn’t know all the truth himself, so he occasionally misleads us, especially at the beginning.
Joe and the reader will gradually discover what happened to his sister, who wrote the anonymous email asking him to return, and who is responsible for what has happened to other children in Arnhill.
The atmosphere is chilling and sinister, with some scary scenes, which aren’t too gory, except for the creepy beetles, which I can’t stand.
The last third, where the whole plot is resolved, is fast paced, surprising and satisfactory. Although there are some supernatural elements in the story, the storyline and ending are believably wrapped up.
I’d recommend this novel especially for readers who enjoy engaging and bloodcurdling thrillers.
By the way, I thoroughly enjoyed Richard Armitage’s reading on Audible.