Review: The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor

Why am I not hearing more about this book?!! 

The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor 

Released February 2021

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  Bookshop

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 her 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 2 Cents For Free!

This is the third book I’ve read by author C.J. Tudor and it’s my favorite so far. I had some crabby complaints about The Chalk Man’s characters being dull and humorless and I remember only enjoying the dog but that’s all been fixed here so, yay, here’s a crab-free review!

An untraditional vicar named Jack and her teen daughter are relocated to a remote village because the last vicar perished in a very bad way but he oh-so-kindly left Jack an exorcism kit! Wait, what?! There’s quite the story behind all of it but I absolutely will not spoil it for you. There are many mysteries and secrets here to unravel and let me tell ya, one of them really got me! I was genuinely taken aback, and left a little stunned at the turn of events and in need of a breather and I loved it and that’s all I’m saying about that.

The atmosphere is ultra-creepy and done extremely well. I love stories where the setting is as much a character as the actual characters themselves and that’s the case here. Their new church/home is decrepit and neglected as it should be in a book like this. Grimy and old and a little bit dangerous. The cemetery hangouts, dismembered burning ghost girls, cagey and suspicious new neighbors, awkward new friends, all of it done so incredibly well that I couldn’t put the book down. Sometimes when a book has this much going on I start to tune out, get confused or aggravated because my brain screams “stop, it’s too much!” but not this time. The characters are vivid and compelling, Jack and her daughter are down to earth and have a great sense of humor. I love to see that. I adored the mother/daughter relationship here especially. It’s full of love and trust and honesty and though the situation is very less than ideal neither one of them are resentful and simply go with the flow instead of having conflicts that fill so many books like these. Their relationship really grounded the book for me and I never felt lost or irritated by the “what the heck?” of it all. It is a fantastic thriller/mystery/creepfest.

There is so much evil happening here, you gotta love it! I hope you get to read it and that you love the pure evil of it all as much as I did.

Content Warning: 



  1. Me and Melody read this book together at the end of August and I absolutely loved it! It's my favorite C.J. Tudor book. I loved the two main characters, and the fact that I didn't fully know where it was going the whole time I was reading it, and the twist at the end was so good. :D

    1. I'm so glad you loved it too! I haven't seen it mentioned too much in the horror circles and I'm a little surprised by that because it is fantastic!

  2. I haven't read this but it does sound really good.

  3. I've read really mixed reviews for this so I've stayed away but now I'm curious.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  4. This sounds like the scary sort of story I like to read. Enticing review!

  5. Man this sounds so vivid! I am really curious about this now.

  6. Ooohhh!! I cannot wait to dive in! I'm glad this one was a hit for you! :)

  7. Looks good...adding it to Goodreads, though that's hardly unusual enough to comment on. *laugh*


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