Title: The Burning Girls by C.J Tudor
Date Published: Michael Joseph
Publisher: 21st January 2021
Genre: Psychological Thriller
500 years ago: eight martyrs were burnt to death
30 years ago: two teenagers vanished without trace
Two months ago: the vicar committed suicide
Welcome to Chapel Croft.
For Rev Jack Brooks and teenage daughter Flo it’s supposed to be a fresh start. New job, new home. But, as Jack knows, the past isn’t easily forgotten.
And in a close-knit community where the residents seem as proud as they are haunted by Chapel Croft’s history, Jack must tread carefully. Ancient superstitions as well as a mistrust of outsiders will be hard to overcome.
Yet right away Jack has more frightening concerns.
Why is Flo plagued by visions of burning girls?
Who’s sending them sinister, threatening messages?
And why did no one mention that the last vicar killed himself?
Chapel Croft’s secrets lie deep and dark as the tomb. Jack wouldn’t touch them if not for Flo – anything to protect Flo.
But the past is catching up with Chapel Croft – and with Jack. For old ghosts with scores to settle will never rest . . .
I want to thank Gaby Young at Michael Joseph for inviting me on this tour and providing me with a copy of The Burning Girls, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
I’m struggling to put into words how much I enjoyed this book!
Reverend Jack Brooks and her daughter Flo move from Nottingham to Chapel Croft after a tragedy in Jack’s former parish. It’s immediately apparent that there’s something off about Chapel Croft. Twig dolls burnt every year to commemorate villagers burned at the stake. Missing girls. Suicide. Ghostly visions. Secrets. Lots of secrets.
I love a good mystery but I also love a good spooky story and The Burning Girls combines these two things into a gripping story.
I absolutely loved the characters. Jack is not your typical vicar. She smokes, has modern views on a lot of subjects which in a small village like Chapel Croft rubbed a few people up the wrong way. Her teenage daughter Flo was realistically done too, she has the naivety of a child but still wants to be seen as an adult. She’s headstrong and does not like to be told she’s wrong, she reminded me a lot of my own teenage son.
I will say that the ending wasn’t entirely a surprise but I still enjoyed it and it fitted perfectly with the story.
The Burning Girls is a well written supernatural thriller that just sucked me in from that very first chapter.
About The Author:
C. J. Tudor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham, where she still lives with her partner and young daughter.
She left school at sixteen and has had a variety of jobs over the years, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, shop assistant, ad agency copywriter and voiceover.
In the early nineties, she fell into a job as a television presenter for a show on Channel 4 called Moviewatch. Although a terrible presenter, she got to interview acting legends such as Sigourney Weaver, Michael Douglas, Emma Thompson and Robin Williams. She also annoyed Tim Robbins by asking a question about Susan Sarandon’s breasts and was extremely flattered when Robert Downey Junior showed her his chest.
While writing the Chalk Man she ran a dog-walking business, walking over twenty dogs a week as well as looking after her little girl.
She’s been writing since she was a child but only knuckled down to it properly in her thirties. Her English teacher once told her that if she ‘did not become Prime Minister or a best-selling author’ he would be ‘very disappointed.’
The Chalk Man was inspired by a tub of chalks a friend bought for her daughter’s second birthday. One afternoon they drew chalk figures all over the driveway. Later that night she opened the back door to be confronted by weird stick men everywhere. In the dark, they looked incredibly sinister. She called to her partner: ‘These chalk men look really creepy in the dark . . .’
She is never knowingly over-dressed. She has never owned a handbag and the last time she wore heels (twelve years ago) she broke a tooth.
She loves The Killers, Foo Fighters and Frank Turner. Her favourite venue is Rock City.
Her favourite films are Ghostbusters and The Lost Boys. Her favourite authors are Stephen King, Michael Marshall and Harlan Coben.
She is SO glad she was a teenager in the eighties.
She firmly believes that there are no finer meals than takeaway pizza and champagne, or chips with curry sauce after a night out.
Everyone calls her Caz.