Can we just take a moment to admire the cover of The Burning Girls? *insert heart eye emoji* If you didn’t know by now, CJ Tudor is an ‘auto-read/buy’ author for me. When I saw she had a new book coming in 2021, I was absolutely giddy with anticipation. She has such a good writing style, that even when the ending falls flat for me, I still enjoy the book and the reading experience of her books. Okay, Let’s jump into today’s review….
What is The Burning Girls about?
Welcome to Chapel Croft. Five hundred years ago, eight protestant martyrs were burned at the stake here. 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 and a note quoting scripture. “But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed and hidden that will not be known.”
The more Jack and 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.
Characters and Story line
I have to say that this 4th offering from CJ Tudor, is the book where I have discovered my favourite protagonist, Jack. Jack is a bit of an unconventional vicar, who moves to a small English village with their daughter, Flo. The parent-daughter banter between Jack and Flo were some of my favourite parts to read. It reminded me so much of my own daughter and myself….I chuckled a lot when it came to their interaction.
The book is told from various POV’s, as well as an unknown narrator, who is narrating in the past. The story line, with a touch of history thrown in, I found to be really interesting. I’ve noticed that this author’s books seem to delve more and more into the supernatural realm with each new book, which I quite enjoy. Horror and straight up supernatural is not really my genre, but mixed in with a page turning thriller, it’s definitely a hybrid genre that I enjoy.
The Burning Girls was my 4th book from this author, so you don’t need any more proof that I really enjoy this author’s writing. Her storytelling ability is remarkable….so captivating and with every book, there’s something new. You can see the growth and the writing going more and more into the direction that CJ Tudor is ultimately headed towards.
Her books are always page turners and the actual reading is such an enjoyable experience. I laugh, I hold my breath….I don’t want to turn the lights off….all the makings of a really good reading experience.
There was a lot I was able to guess pretty early on in this book, but it didn’t have a negative impact on how I felt about the book. I still wanted to know how it all tied up and this was one of her books where she didn’t leave us wondering with the ending, which I appreciated.
There are a few triggers in this book, related to child abuse, bullying and religion.
The Burning Girls has a 4.19 star rating on Goodreads, and I’m definitely in agreement. It’s a 4 star read for me! In some of her previous books, I felt there was a familiar trope or theme at times, especially w.r.t. similarities between the main characters. I definitely felt The Burning Girls was a fresh new offering…..one that I really enjoyed. This is definitely my favourite book out of the 4 books that she has written.
The Burning Girls is available at all good leading book retailers.
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