Heart beating, pulse racing, and quick glances around the house to make sure those clicks and twitters were nothing each time we picked up this book, was our modus operandi with this book. It was harrowing, eerie, and a true shout out to all those thriller readers about how truly eerie a well written thriller can be. Scare factor revved up, pages turning, and that inevitable “I can’t put this one down” sent us on this chilling journey.
So what book could bring about such ghastly, creepy and a shocking “oh wow?” It was
“ Because for Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn’t the day his sister went missing. It was the day she came back.”
I was hooked from page one. The author has created a smartly written, tense thriller with a touch of horror that kept me glued to the page.
After receiving an anonymous, cryptic e-mail, Joe lies his way into a teaching job in his former hometown, a town that is filled with painful memories. He must face the past and what happened all those years ago when his sister disappeared for two days and came back a different child.
Now, all these years later, history seems to be repeating itself. What is happening to the children and why are there no children buried in the local cemetery? As Joe begins to dig deep into what happened all those years ago, not everyone in the town is happy to see him back in town. There are forces at work against him at every turn.
This tale is creepy and chilling, with a touch of the supernatural. Joe is a flawed, yet engaging and sympathetic, character. His sarcasm and inner dialogue is witty and snarky, my favorite kind of humor. Unfortunately the story lost some momentum near the end with unanswered questions and a few plot holes that stretched believability.
Marialyce and I had a great time buddy reading this one together and we are both looking forward to the author’s next book. I loved her first book, The Chalk Man, and the writing in this book made me a solid fan. Well done!
Now I know many of my book friends are not into thriller books, but honestly, the writing, the crispness, the nuances of the characters so well defined by Ms Tudor made this book a most impressive read.
“Life is not kind. Not to any of us, in the end. It adds weight to our shoulders, a heaviness in our stride. It tears away the things we care about and hardens our souls with regret.”
Ah, the teenage years. They are such “fun.” Just ask Joe. He will tell you. In this story, Joe takes us back in time, as he is called back to his old stomping grounds, takes a job of teaching with a fudged reference in hand, and assumes the duties of an English teacher in the school he once attended. The years and the memories have not been kind to Joe. He is a gambler, heavily in debt, a drinker, and is being pursued by a “lovely” hit women for gambling debts. As if that is not enough, almost immediately, things turn towards the dark side for Joe.(as if they could get any darker) once he hits town. Strange dreams, illusions, nightmares and an appearance of beetles turn up and the memories pile on, none of which are pleasant ones.
“There are no winners in life. Life is ultimately about losing, your youth, your looks. But, most of all, those you love.”
For you see, many years ago, strange and eerie happenings occurred to Joe, his family, and his pals, after an opening into what was once coal mines had been discovered. You know kids, they just had to go check things out, and then things got out of hand, horrendously out of hand and some come back from that experienced changed into something not quite what they once were. It’s all very harrowing, alarming and shocking. And to add to all of that, people have died under let’s say spine chilling circumstances.
“Sometimes, I think, it’s not the passing of years that really ages you, but the passing of the people and things you care about.”
Oh yes, it all comes together with the ability to make one’s teeth chatter, blood turn cold, and all those “wonderful” things that happen when you are scared out of your mind. When they say edge of your seat, I will always think of this book.
That kind of aging can’t be smoothed away by needles or plumped with fillers. The pain shows in your eyes.“
Suffice to say, I did really like this author’s The Chalk Man so was super enthused for this book. I am happy to say, there was not a disappointed bone in my body after I finished. I also have to say, that C.J. Tudor has a wonderfully vivid, terrifyingly terrific imagination and boy, this lady can sure write. Even the bit of a glitch at the ending didn’t take away my appreciation for this book and its writer.
Never trust a person whose bookshelves are lined with pristine books or worse, someone who places books with the covers facing outward. That person is not a reader. ……..A reader cracks the spine, thumbs the pages, absorbs every word and nuance. You might not be able to judge a book by its cover, but you can definitely judge the person who owns the book.”
Thanks Ms Tudor for hours of ghastly, gruesome, grisly fun and a shout out to we readers…. Now, when will your next book be coming out? I am putting myself on line for it.
and here’s the author:
C. J. Tudor is the author of The Chalk Man and The Hiding Place, and lives in England with her partner and daughter. Over the years she has worked as a copywriter, television presenter, voice-over, and dog walker. She is now thrilled to be able to write full-time, and doesn’t miss chasing wet dogs through muddy fields all that much.