“In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy little English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code; little chalk stick figures they leave for each other as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing will ever be the same.
In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out his other friends got the same messages, they think it could be a prank… until one of them turns up dead. That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.
Expertly alternating between flashbacks and the present day, The Chalk Man is the very best kind of suspense novel, one where every character is wonderfully fleshed out and compelling, where every mystery has a satisfying payoff, and where the twists will shock even the savviest reader.” – Goodreads
Set in a small town in England, The Chalk Man a time shifting story of two murders, one that took place in 1986 and another that took place in 2016. Told from the point of view of Ed, the story takes us on a journey of 5 friends who witness events that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. Be warned, it is not your standard whodunnit.
I can’t believe this is C.J. Tudor’s debut novel! The Chalk Man is an extremely well written, cleverly plotted mystery with unthinkable twists and turns. I could have never predicted the ending and to me that is the hallmark of a good mystery.
288 pages of the book pack a lot of punch. Elements of thriller and horror set against a commentary on the society today is what made it especially charming to me.
There were parts where I was not too thrilled (pun intended) because I didn’t care much about the characters (except Chloe). Towards the middle, the story became a little chaotic and hard to follow but overall a solid debut novel and a brilliant thriller.
It’s a definitely 4 star book for me!
udor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham, where she still lives with her partner and young daughter.
She’s been writing since she was a child but only knuckled down to it properly in her thirties. Her English teacher once told her that if she ‘did not become Prime Minister or a best-selling author’ he would be ‘very disappointed.’
The Chalk Man was inspired by a tub of chalks a friend bought for her daughter’s second birthday. One afternoon they drew chalk figures all over the driveway. Later that night she opened the back door to be confronted by weird stick men everywhere. In the dark, they looked incredibly sinister. She called to her partner: ‘These chalk men look really creepy in the dark . . .’
This book is a must read for those who live for thrillers. I will definitely be waiting for Tudor’s next book.
Have you read The Chalk Man? What did you think? Do let me know in the comments below