My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - in and out over two days
Pages - 432
Publisher - Michael Joseph
Source - Netgalley
Blurb from Goodreads
The thrilling second novel from the author of The Chalk Man, about a teacher with a hidden agenda who returns to settle scores at a school he once attended, only to uncover a darker secret than he could have imagined.
Joe never wanted to come back to Arnhill. After the way things ended with his old gang--the betrayal, the suicide, the murder--and after what happened when his sister went missing, the last thing he wanted to do was return to his hometown. But Joe doesn't have a choice. Because judging by what was done to that poor Morton kid, what happened all those years ago to Joe's sister is happening again. And only Joe knows who is really at fault.
Lying his way into a teaching job at his former high school is the easy part. Facing off with former friends who are none too happy to have him back in town--while avoiding the enemies he's made in the years since--is tougher. But the hardest part of all will be returning to that abandoned mine where it all went wrong and his life changed forever, and finally confronting the shocking, horrifying truth about Arnhill, his sister, and himself. Because for Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn't the day his sister went missing. It was the day she came back.
Meet Joe Thorne, our main character, heading back to the town he grew up in after lying in order to get a job. Lying about a job is the very least of Joe's problems, both what he is running from and what he is running to! Joe has issues from his past and present, both he must face and both are pretty horrific.
This is a thriller meets horror/supernatural to be honest and you can tell the author is a fan of master King, I hear echos of him in both this book and her last. The book splits really into two, what happened in his past and the now, why the town folk aren't happy to see him, what he is running from and the strange eerie happenings in his house.
Joe isn't a particularly likeable guy in my opinion, as a kid he wanted to be liked so bad he did some questionable things, with repercussions, that impacts his choices and decisions as an adult. The small town have a horrible attitude to outsiders yet Joe really isn't he is a returner. There is a horrific murder/suicide at the start of the book in the house Joe comes to live in on his return. As the book progresses we get a more in depth look at the house happenings, deaths and what bearing if any it has on Joe's past and present.
The throwback to when he was a child and some of the scenes in the house will have the hair on the back of your neck standing. Tudor has the knack of pulling in creepy alongside a seemingly normal tale and creeping you out whilst drawing you in. I enjoyed her last book and I liked this one too, I think Tudor is one for watching and look forward for her next offering which I hope she is penning now, 4/5 for me this time.
View all my reviews