Author: C.J. Tudor
Release Date: February 5, 2019
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
Definitely interesting, but I wish it had been darker.
Joe didn’t want to return to his hometown, but after a brutal murder surfaces there, he feels he must because of his past. He lies his way into a teaching job at the academy, which he also attended as a youngster. Somethings have changed, but many things haven’t. He knows he must confront his past and the awful things that he and his gang did. Betrayal, murder, and suicide just scratch the surface. But the worst day of Joe’s life wasn’t the day his eight-year-old sister went missing, it was the day she came back.
The best part of this book was the ending. Not because it was finally over, but because it threw a great twist that I wasn’t prepared for as I thought I had it all figured out. The first half of the book was largely character development and it developed several characters in a bad, bad way. The second half of the book finally started to shed some light on the turning points of Joe’s past including what happened to his sister, Annie, what happened at the pit, and why Joe and his chums are no more.
I really enjoyed Tudor’s previous novel The Chalk Man because of how dark it was, and it really kept me intrigued in her specific style of writing. Unfortunately, I compared this book to some other authors while reading it, so it took a bit of individuality away from it. I wanted it to dive a lot darker, but it is what it is. There is quite a bit of harsh language throughout, so I would not advise it for a younger audience.
I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions express within are my own.