Review - The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor

The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
Date Read: November 11, 2020
Length: 304 pages
Source: NetGalley
An unconventional vicar moves to a remote corner of the English countryside, only to discover a community haunted by death and disappearances both past and present--and intent on keeping its dark secrets--in this explosive, unsettling thriller from acclaimed author C. J. Tudor.

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.
My Review

I really enjoyed this book!  I have had pretty good luck with C.J. Tudor's books so I was really excited to read her newest offering.  I went into this book rather blindly which I think might be the best way to experience this wonderful novel.  This book was one of those books that I found hard to put down and appreciated each and every surprise during the reading journey.  

Reverend Jack Brooks has been reassigned to the small town of Chapel Croft.  Jack's 14-year-old daughter Flo isn't any more thrilled by the more than Jack is but they are going to try to make the most of it.  The church that Jack has been assigned to has a lot of history being the site where martyrs were burned at the stake.  Residents still leave burning dolls to honor them.  Jack was sent to Chapel Croft to replace a vicar who suddenly committed suicide a couple of months earlier and the town also holds the mystery of a pair of teen girls who disappeared years ago without a trace.

Jack and Flo try to fit in but some things just feel off.  They both are starting to make friends and trying to connect to the community but they can't stop themselves from digging a little deeper into the mysteries surrounding the events that have occurred in the town.  I loved the way that this book was able to keep me guessing until the very end.  I really liked both Jack and Flo and found myself rather worried about both of them at several points in the story.  This story was really intense and I felt like it straddled the line between mystery and horror which is something that I really appreciated.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  I think that this was a fantastic novel that had me glued to the pages and invested in the welfare of the characters.  I will definitely be reading C.J. Tudor's work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine Books via NetGalley.
About the Author

C. J. Tudor is the author of The Other People, The Hiding Place and The Chalk Man, which won the International Thriller Writers award for Best First Novel and the Strand Magazine Award for Best Debut Novel. Over the years she has worked as a copywriter, television presenter, voice-over artist, and dog walker. She is now thrilled to be able to write full-time, and doesn’t miss chasing wet dogs through muddy fields all that much. She lives in England with her partner and daughter.

Author Links: Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


  1. I love when a book keeps you guessing until the end! And I have to admit, that " a village where everyone has something to protect, everyone has links with the village's bloody past, and no one trusts an outsider." really got me intrigued 😏

  2. I don’t read a lot of thrillers, and I’ve never read a C.J. Tudor book before, but I’m super interested in this one. I can’t resist stories about small-town secrets. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  3. I haven't read any books by this author, but you've got me curious considering you've always enjoy their books. I love the sound of this one, very suspenseful and has a cult-like quality to the storyline.

    Lovely review, Carole!

  4. I will admit that after hating her first book Chalk Man, I have been leery about trying any Glad you enjoy her books!

  5. I don't think I've read this author. Fabulous review. I've obviously got to take a look at these books.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  6. I can see by your reaction that it delivered on the thrills and chills and also the character development since you were worried about them both. I keep meaning to try her books after reading your raving review for Chalk Man a while back.

  7. I loved the first book and need to catch up with the other books.

  8. don't think i've read any of her work, but this does sound like one i would enjoy too
    sherry @ fundinmental

  9. The grabbed the audio out of curiosity and now I'm happy I did!

  10. Five stars! I haven't read this author before, but I need to. Thank you for the recommendation!

  11. I really need to try this author!

  12. I keep meaning to try this author. Good review!

  13. I've been curious of The Chalk Man but I never had the chance to grab the book. Glad you liked this! Books that really keeps you guessing up to the ending is always a good read.

  14. I CANNOT wait to dive into this one!!


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