I’m lucky enough to be joining the blog tour today to celebrate the release of the highly anticipated book, The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor. C.J Tudor is best known for her dark, thrilling novels such as ‘The Chalk Man’ which hit the shelves back in 2018.
Her new release, The Burning Girls is just as dark and just as thrilling as expected, but also cleverly plays upon years of Sussex history and tradition…
Five hundred years ago in a place named Chapel Croft, eight protestant martyrs were burned at the stake. Thirty years ago, two teenage girls disappeared without a trace. And two months ago, the vicar of the local parish killed himself.
Reverend Jack Brooks, a single parent with a fourteen-year-old daughter and a heavy conscience, arrives in the village hoping to make a fresh start and find some peace. Instead, Jack finds a town mired in secrecy and a strange welcome package: an old exorcism kit.
The more she and her daughter Flo get acquainted with the town and its strange denizens, the deeper they are drawn into their rifts, mysteries, and suspicions. And when Flo is troubled by strange sightings in the old chapel, it becomes apparent that there are ghosts here that refuse to be laid to rest.
But uncovering the truth can be deadly in a village where everyone has something to protect, everyone has links with the village’s bloody past, and no one trusts an outsider.
What Did I Think?
As you know by now, there is nothing that excites me more than a devilish thriller that I can sink my teeth into and The Burning Girls was just that. I had to forcefully tear myself away from the pages and I can easily see how some may devour this book in one sitting.
I absolutely adored C.J Tudor’s writing. She let us grow close to the protagonists but made sure we didn’t trust any of them. The character development is so effortless, I didn’t realise it was happening until the very end.
The pace of the book was also phenomenal. The short, quick chapters were just enough to entice you in, and then brutally leave you hanging. I love to work out the plot/culprit whilst I’m reading, and I loved that every chapter gives you a hint of a clue but still leaves you itching to know more…
Although the book is quite dark and gruesome in some parts, the writing is impeccable and personally, I think it is everything you want from a thriller. Quick chapters. Short sentences. Unnerving scenes. Unpredictable characters.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m so glad that it was my first book thriller of 2021. I loved it that much that I actually texted my best friend, telling her to grab a copy so we could discuss. Definitely one to add to your TBR if you love an edge-of-your-seat thriller dipped in history.
At Home With The Four Indies Book Event
I also had the pleasure in attending the At Home With The Four Indies book event in which C.J Tudor herself, along with Will Dean, discussed their new releases.
C.J. Tudor spoke about her inspiration from the book stemming from her recent move to Sussex, where she stumbled across the traditions of a local town, Lewes. It is the tradition in Lewes to hold bonfires in remembrance of the Protestants who were burnt there. Upon hearing about this tradition and landing herself in a part of the UK that just screamed American Gothic, she was inspired to write a folk horror/thriller that plays upon this bloody and macabre history.
I always find it fascinating to hear the author speak about how they came to write the book and listening to C.J Tudor discuss her inspiration for The Burning Girls just made it SO much more interesting when I came to read it.
If you do decide to read it, I hope you love it as much as I did. It definitely did NOT disappoint.
The Burning Girls
Publisher: Michael Joseph (Penguin)
Genre: Thriller, Horror
# of Pages: 400
Trigger Warnings: Murder, death, suicide, abuse, child abuse, blood, homelessness, sexual abuse
Links: Goodreads, Amazon, Blackwells
As always, thank you to Gaby Young, Michael Joesph and C.J Tudor for letting me be part of the blog tour for this spectacular novel.