Today I am thrilled to bring you my review and stop on the tour for The Burning Girls by C. J. Tudor.  This is an amazing book which intrigued me from the start, just look at that cover, and I hope you enjoy reading my review of it.  A great big thank you to publisher Michael Joseph and Gaby Young for the opportunity to be a part of this tour!  Please don’t forget to check out all the other stops on this tour too and I hope you enjoy my review. 🙂

Title: The Burning Girls
Author: C. J. Tudor
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Book format: Pre-publication digital proof
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Description: 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 . . .

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  Wow, what an interesting and twisty horror thriller story! Reverend Jack and daughter Flo have arrived in Chapel Croft, a small village in Sussex with a long and dark history. Jack’s moved in as the interim vicar of the village after the previous one died, but as soon as Jack and Flo arrive it’s clear that the village and its chapel hold more than a few dark secrets. From the start of their arrival they spot some creepy looking twig dolls that the villagers make to commemorate those who died in the village during the Protestant Purge of the sixteenth century.  They may seem creepy yet simple, but soon Jack and Flo start seeing more than just the little twig dolls, they start to see burning girls too.

I really enjoyed getting into this story and it was a gripping read from the start. The village of Chapel Croft holds a lot of secrets and it isn’t long before we are taken down several stories about the village both in the present and the past. Jack starts getting to know the village, some of its residents and the history of the place. Both the history of the Sussex Martyrs who were burned during the sixteenth century, and also the more recent local history of two girls who disappeared from Chapel Croft thirty years ago. Meanwhile daughter Flo starts to explore the quiet village, first meeting a boy who lives in Chapel Croft and later some of the other teenage residents, as well as discovering something very creepy in the area. It isn’t long before spooky and eerie things start happening to both Jack and Flo and among other things they see images of girls on fire, burning girls.

I love how this story unfolds. Some chapters are told from Jack’s point of view, in the first person perspective, while others are in the third person perspective and told from Flo’s point of view. Most chapters are like this until later on there are some chapters following a third, unknown character as well as a few brief parts focussing on the story that happened thirty years ago. Despite these four different points of view I was never lost in the story and in fact it added a brilliant creepy layer to what was happening, especially the chapters following a certain character whose identity isn’t known for a long time. Although at times there is the simpler tale of Jack and Flo trying to settle into life in the small village of Chapel Croft, the story is about so much more and is filled with lots of creepy or eerie things happening to both of them.

There are lots of twists throughout the book and for the most part I didn’t know what was going to happen. I did guess one twist about a certain person a while before it was revealed properly in the story, although I think a lot of the clues were there to help me guess. But despite this I still didn’t know exactly what would happen with this character and how things would resolve, and apart from this one twist, the rest were such a surprise to the point that I found myself gasping several times when certain things were revealed, especially about another character towards the end of the novel! The shocks and twists really kept me on edge throughout this book and I just love how the ending of so many chapters kept me wanting to read on. I just couldn’t stop reading this and spent most of one day glued to the pages, real life being the only reason I had to stop and put this book down!

The ending is a good one, lots of things are reveaed and in general the story wraps up nicely. It is quite a quick ending for me though and although I liked what happened with all the characters, I have to admit that I did feel like I wanted a little bit more at the end. It didn’t feel like the story wasn’t finished, but something about it just felt a little abrupt and left me feeling like I wanted more of an ending for all the chracters involved, although I do like what happens in that last chapter. The book does have a bit of swearing in it, some use of the f word and some offensive language towards certain people. There are also quite a few shocks and some slightly gory descriptions although overall this book has more creepy horror than gory horror.

Although I did want there to be more at the end, this story was so good and it’s made me want to read more from this author! I loved the creepy vibe the whole village of Chapel Croft had despite seeming like a quaint, small and simple country village. The story is creepy and the things that happen, the twists and shocks are just brilliant.  As I said, I just didn’t see most of them coming which makes for a great read! It’s a brilliant creepy horror thriller story and one that I would recommend to anyone looking for a shocking, creepy and eerie read.

What do you think of this book?  Do you like horror or thrillers?  Have you read other books by this author?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂