Category Archives: The Burning Girls

Review: The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor

Title: The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 335 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


An unconventional vicar must exorcise the dark past of a remote village haunted by death and disappearances in this explosive and unsettling thriller from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man.

A dark history lingers in Chapel Croft. Five hundred years ago, Protestant martyrs were betrayed—then burned. Thirty years ago, two teenage girls disappeared without a trace. And a few weeks ago, the vicar of the local parish hanged himself in the nave of the church.

Reverend Jack Brooks, a single parent with a fourteen-year-old daughter and a heavy conscience, arrives in the village hoping for a fresh start. Instead, Jack finds a town rife with conspiracies and secrets, and is greeted with a strange welcome package: an exorcism kit and a note that warns, “But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed and hidden that will not be known.”

The more Jack and daughter, Flo, explore the town and get to know its strange denizens, the deeper they are drawn into the age-old rifts, mysteries, and suspicions. And when Flo begins to see specters of girls ablaze, it becomes apparent there are ghosts here that refuse to be laid to rest.

Uncovering the truth can be deadly in a village with a bloody past, where everyone has something to hide and no one trusts an outsider.


The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor is an eerie mystery that is full of suspense.

Neither Reverend Jack Brooks nor fifteen year old daughter Flo is overly thrilled about their new placement in the sparsely populated, isolated village of Chapel Croft.  The town has an infamous past that dates back to the witch-burning days and still reverberates to the present.  Although the Brooks’ family will only be in Chapel Croft temporarily, Flo immediately becomes friends with Lucas Wrigley. She also accidentally makes enemies soon upon her arrival in town. Jack tries to fly under the radar and hopes what happened before moving remains a secret from the residents.  Upon learning what happened to the previous vicar, Jack is curious enough to begin searching for answers about his death.

Jack is not the typical vicar which only makes it easier to empathize with current events. The family’s arrival is a little fraught but they soon try to settle into their new circumstances. The burning girl history is intriguing and Jack respects the impact it has on the town. Strange things soon begin occurring as Flo and Lucas explore the surrounding area. Jack makes a few discoveries that bring more questions than answers. What happened to the two girls who went missing thirty years ago?  Why has no one really made much of an effort to find them?

Unbeknownst to them, someone is intent on tracking Jack down. He allows nothing or anyone to stand in the way of reaching them. Who is this person? What unfinished business does he have with Jack?

The Burning Girls is a thoroughly riveting  mystery that is quite atmospheric.  Jack and Flo are wonderful characters whose  imperfections make them easy to like. The church and the town’s history are richly developed and add tension to the unfolding story. The storyline is well-developed and captures the readers’ attention right from the first page. With shocking twists and stunning turns, C.J. Tudor brings this captivating mystery to a breathtaking conclusion. I completely enjoyed and HIGHLY recommend this brilliant mystery to fans of the genre.

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Filed under Ballantine Books, CJ Tudor, Contemporary, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Suspense, The Burning Girls