The Burning Girls by CJ Tudor

Published by Michael Joseph on 9th February 2021

What is it all about?

For Rev Jack Brooks and teenage daughter Flo this is supposed to be a fresh start. A new church, a new home. But, as they both know, the past isn’t so easily escaped.

In this close-knit community, Jack must tread carefully. Chapel Croft’s history, both ancient and recent, lies heavily on the villagers. They jealously guard the past from outsiders – even once it begins to torment Jack and Flo:

Who is leaving them sinister messages? Why is Flo plagued by visions of burning girls? Had the vicar been investigating the missing teenagers when he died?

Something is terribly wrong in Chapel Croft – but dare Jack uncover its secrets?

Because for some in this village the past, and the burnings, are still very real…

My Thoughts

CJ Tudor is one of those writers whose book I will buy regardless of the plot, she is that good of a writer. She comes with great plaudits, even the great Stephen King sings her praises, so you know you are going to be in for a treat and just like her previous books The Burning Girls is a top-notch chilling read. She has created yet another gripping un put downable read that will leave you hanging on every word.

The Rev Jack Brooks has left her previous parish in Nottingham and upped sticks with her daughter Flo to a new smaller rural parish. It sounds idyllic on the face of it, but Jack soon learns of the dark history of Chapel Croft when 500 years earlier eight people were burnt to death for their religious beliefs, but that is all in the past, isn’t it?

Well, no it is not as Jack and Flo soon discover the present is just as dangerous and as sinister as the past and Jack has to confront how her own past still has a hold over. Only 30 years earlier two teenage girls went missing from Chapel Croft, vanished without a trace, never to be seen or heard from again. Is it all connected? Are the two tragic events connected across the centuries? As the story develops more and more secrets are unraveled and Jack soon finds herself being drawn into events that are far beyond the requirements of the village reverend. The past has never settled in Chapel Croft and the only way it can bury its demons is to face the past head on and ultimately that is what happens. This story comes complete with ghostly apparitions, exorcisms and murder. There are a lot of things going on in this story, but Tudor is talented enough to keep all the strands ticking along nicely, each nicely building to a dramatic crescendo. We meet characters who on the face of it seem nice and charming but who are at the same time hiding deep dark secrets that have the power to blow the village apart, can Jack and Flo survive the secrets that are deeply hidden in the fabric of the village?

Like in all her previous books, Tudor manages to create a chilling and sinister tale that keeps you on edge and you never quite know what is around the corner, the only thing you can be assured of is that it is going to be unnerving and tense. The Burning Girls blends the historic with the present and seamlessly closes the gap between the centuries through harrowing tragedy and death. It is an unsettling tale which makes it a compulsive read that you will not be able to put down. It is another masterpiece by Tudor and all I can say is bring on the next one!!

About the Author

C.J. Tudor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham and has recently moved to Kent with her partner and young daughter. Her love of writing, especially the dark and macabre, started young. When her peers were reading Judy Blume, she was devouring Stephen King and James Herbert. Over the years she has had a variety of jobs including trainee reporter , radio scriptwriter, voiceover artist, television presenter, copywriter and now, author.

Many thanks to Gaby Young and the publishers for offering me the opportunity to take part in the tour for The Burning Girls. Please do check out all the other wonderful reviews listed below.

The Burning Girls: Tudor, C. J.: 9780241371305: Books

The Burning Girls by C. J. Tudor | Waterstones

Also available from your local independent bookseller.