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Book Review: "The Gathering" by CJ Tudor

5/5 - vampires, terror and mob justice rule this intense thriller novel...

By Annie KapurPublished 13 days ago Updated 13 days ago 4 min read
From: Amazon

When it comes to CJ Tudor, there are many books that I would call far better than average. Thrillers seem to be everywhere nowadays but I cannot say that there is any writing quite like CJ Tudor's out there and each book is different to the last. When I wrote my review of The Drift, I was aware that the storyline was an intertwining of many smaller subplots and stories that all eventually linked into each other. This is not just to create that realisation that is so satisfying for the reader, but it is also to expand the story beyond what the reader thought was initially possible. In this book titled The Gathering, CJ Tudor does that on a large scale, including vampires in the plot as well as our usual shifty humans.

Barbara is a detective and specialises in vampires, she has been called to a town so that she may lend a hand into the investigation of the murder of a teenager. The evidence seems pretty solid in which there is a video of a teen being jumped on by what the other officer has assumed to be a vampire. Echoing another murder that happened 25 years' ago which resulted in a vampire cull makes the whole town uneasy and itch with the want of blood from the colony that has recently repopulated their town. Barbara slows this all down, stating that a cull is illegal unless it is allowed by the law. As she watches the video of the boy's murder though, it becomes clear that there is something else going on here - something that is not quite right and suggests that the video itself may have been staged.

From: Amazon

Meanwhile, there is a female vicar who has only recently come to town a couple of years before Barbara was called on for her investigation. She believes that a calling from God has told her that all vampires need to be wiped from the earth and, with her trusted accomplice named Grace, she spreads this word over town slowly encouraging the very tensions that Barbara is trying to quell. This woman of God has only a makeshift church though and her story is one of complicated ideas and backgrounds. I have to admit that once the reader truly realises what is going on here, it clears up a lot of the lose ends of the book. I think that anyone who enjoys reading complex characters and trying to figure out their motives will absolutely love this one.

From: Amazon

As all of this is going on, we have a man who led the police force all those years ago into the previous boy's murder. Hiding out in the woods, he seems to want nothing to do with anyone and so, spends his time drinking whisky and trying to forget. That is until a vampire shows up. That is also until Barbara shows up as well. The case was not all it seemed to be and resulted in three vampires being culled. Our ex-officer knew he may have been wrong but there was nothing he could do about it. When the similarities in this new case and the one from 25 years' ago start popping up, Barbara finds it hard to let him stay out of the way and draws him back in to reliving those haunting memories again. This time though, he has to make sure he gets it right.

All this while, there is a young girl and her captor in an unknown place somewhere. She is a vampire and is kept far away from others, never to see the light of day. Her captor brings her jugs of blood to drink and swears that they are not cruel to her for eventually having to make her even more cut off from the world. There is a whole unexplored world out there that this girl may never see and in her acts of desperation, there are also things she does not understand. In a fierce rebuke of standing unconditionally by an ideology, this captive character is directly representative of so many fears we have of ourselves and of our neighbours.

From: Amazon

In this book in which it seems like history is repeating itself, CJ Tudor manages to create an atmosphere of absolute terror, changing and shifting who we should be afraid of at any one time: is it the handsome teacher from the local high school? is it the vicar? is it the doctor? the dead kid's friends? the other cop? Each and every step of the way, we unravel another small amount of a psychotic story about mob justice and why it probably is not a good idea to jump to conclusions when the possibilities are not only endless, but complex as well.

All in all, I thought that this book was a fantastic effort at another horror/thriller novel and as we know well, this is CJ Tudor's area of expertise. An atmospheric icy thriller, a super-charged story filled with half-guilty characters and a plot line woven like fine silk - I never cease to be amazed at what this author has to offer.

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About the Creator

Annie Kapur

200K+ Reads on Vocal.

Secondary English Teacher & Lecturer

🎓Literature & Writing (B.A)

🎓Film & Writing (M.A)

🎓Secondary English Education (PgDipEd) (QTS)

📍Birmingham, UK

X: @AnnieWithBooks

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    Annie KapurWritten by Annie Kapur

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