Published by Random House Publishing Group on February 9, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense, Psychological, Domestic
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.
I saw a couple of reviews on Goodreads for The Burning Girls and immediately went to NetGalley to request a copy. When my request was approved, I did a happy dance around my stunned toddlers, who also clapped and jumped excitedly. So needless to say, I was HYPED for The Burning Girls before I’d even taken the time to read the actual synopsis.
Side note/question: This is becoming a habit. I’m curious… Am I the only one who has developed a habit of not reading the Goodreads or “official” synopsis of a book and just dives right in based solely on what you’ve read or heard from others (reviewers, friends, etc.)??
The Burning Girls is the story of a vicar named Jack and her daughter, Flo. They’ve recently been sent to a small church in Chapel Croft after an unfortunate incident in Nottingham. Jack has already been having horrible nightmares due to the horrible event back home, so she has no desire to go to Chapel Croft, but is left with no choice. Immediately, things begin to go the way of a horror movie.
They are welcomed to their new creepy old chapel home by a weird caretaker, a child covered in a blood, a headless burning girl/apparition with no arms — oh, and a bunch of macabre twig dolls the townsfolk set on fire once a year. And that’s just the beginning of the novel!!!
It was almost impossible for me to set this down and I sped through it in about two days. It kept me guessing, trying to figure out what was going on, who was doing what, and although I did figure out one really big “twist” fairly early on, I enjoyed every minute of the twisty turny path that led to “The End.”
I definitely recommend The Burning Girls to thriller fans!