I received this book for free from the TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Hiding Place by CJ Tudor
Published by Crown on February 5, 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Paranormal, Suspense, Thriller
Source: TLC Book Tours
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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.
With the same virtuosic command of character and pacing she displayed in The Chalk Man, C. J. Tudor has once again crafted an extraordinary novel that brilliantly blends harrowing psychological suspense, a devilishly puzzling mystery, and enough shocks and thrills to satisfy even the most seasoned reader.
“Some writers have it, and some don’t. CJ Tudor has it big time – The Hiding Place is terrific in every way.” –LEE CHILD
“With The Hiding Place, CJ Tudor has proven that she is a true master at creating perfectly dark, highly propulsive, and tightly coiled mysteries that are utterly impossible to put down. From page one, the reader is pulled in with a gathering sense of dread, and taken on an addictive, thrilling ride to the very last page.” –AIMEE MOLLOY, New York Times Bestselling author of The Perfect Mother
I really enjoyed C.J. Tudor’s debut dark mystery/thriller, The Chalk Man, and I eagerly opened the pages of her new stand alone novel The Hiding Place. Like her earlier novel, The Hiding Place is dark, gritty, and full of flawed characters trying to live their lives–and not being that successful at it. Joe Thorne is a desperate man who just wants to forget about the past, but his current situation has him reluctantly returning to his hometown of Arnville on a mission. Told through current day chapters with flashbacks to what happened to the characters in 1992, Joe’s journey is full of drama, sorrow, and tough decisions that have shaped him into a sarcastic gambling addict, who also happens to be a decent teacher.
Joe hasn’t been in this decaying old mining town since he was in school, and since his sister and father died in a car accident that left Joe with a bum knee. But he knows that he’s still on the outs with his old chums/school bully-turned school board member Hurst. Now Joe has to deal with Hurst’s privileged and troublemaking son at their old school where Joe has conned his way into an English teaching position. Any time Joe tries to discipline the son, Hurst comes down even harder on Joe–both through the school and outside of it with some cronies who love to beat people up.
But Joe didn’t just take a teaching position because he needed a job. He returned to Arnville because there were mysterious murders just like the ones that happened with his sister all those years ago, and he also sees the opportunity to find a way to pay off his gambling debts. Most of the citizens of Arnville aren’t so welcoming to Joe, especially since he’s renting the cottage where the murders happened. As you slowly learn about Joe and what makes him tick while he unearths other characters’ dark secrets, the ominous setting pulses in the background–just waiting to claim another victim.
I give The Hiding Place a five out of five. C.J. Tudor weaves a story through two different time periods very well, and the story was revealed at a great pace. The atmosphere of Arnville and especially the mine itself, was dark and oppressive, making the overall tone of the book that much more suspenseful. Joe is a normal guy who has turned to not-so-great things due to trauma in his past, and he’s coping with these things the best he can–with booze and gambling. But he’s likable, and funny in his thoughts and comments. This dark suspense builds and builds until all is revealed, and I definitely enjoyed the journey to learn the truth about what happened to Joe’s sister Annie.
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About C.J. Tudor
C. J. TUDOR is the author of The Chalk Man, and lives in Nottingham, England, with her partner and three-year-old daughter. Over the years she has worked as a copywriter, television presenter, voice-over, 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.
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C.J. Tudor’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS for THE HIDING PLACE:
Monday, January 28th: Books & Bindings
Wednesday, January 30th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Friday, February 1st: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, February 4th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, February 5th: @outofthebex
Wednesday, February 6th: Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, February 7th: @prose_and_palate
Friday, February 8th: Thoughts from a Highly Caffeinated Mind
Tuesday, February 12th: Erica Robyn Reads
Wednesday, February 13th: @scaredstraightreads
Thursday, February 14th: From the TBR Pile
Sunday, February 17th: Rockin’ Book Reviews
Monday, February 18th: @wherethereadergrows
Monday, February 18th: Girl Who Reads
Wednesday, February 20th: Kahakai Kitchen
Thursday, February 21st: Book by Book
Friday, February 22nd: Book Fidelity
Monday, February 25th: @hotcocoareads
Thursday, February 28th: Midwest Ladies Who Lit
Monday, March 4th: Wining Wife
Tuesday, March 5th: Write Read Life