I have so been looking forward to reading The Chalk Man for ages! With chapter ending cliff hangers, most readers will easily be able to consume in an entire sitting.
Eddie (Ed) alternates between the past and the present (2016). I found the story flowed really well despite the alternating chapters. I thought Eddie was a great protagonist and I loved the way he was portrayed in the past and current timeline. You could really sense which parts of his personality had grown up and which part of his behaviours had stayed childlike. He was definitely flawed but had a very “take me as I am attitude”.
The characters were really well developed and the story definitely has elements of a coming of age. Tudor shows the powerlessness of children and the power of information. She really showcased the strong bonds of friendship both when the group were children and as adults.
I really enjoyed the plot twists and the unexpected developments that kept you guessing. Interesting to not only try and work out the mystery but what drove each character. The story reminded me a little of Stand by Me – especially with its past timeline set in 1986. I’m an 80s girl at heart so I love all the references to the time period. Loved the bit of nostalgia that brought!
I didn’t find The Chalk Man to be a horror or terribly creepy. There is a definite sense of unease throughout the story though. And provides just enough tension and mystery you really want the timelines to come together! I was just unsure about the chalk men. An interesting plot device and perhaps that was the only point?
Hard to believe The Chalk Man is a debut novel. It was written so confidently and I loved the ending. Though all the revelations were a little full on. I definitely recommend and I’ll be looking for more from CJ Tudor! If you liked The Chalk Man make sure to check out other Top Thrillers from 2018.
ABOUT THE CHALK MAN
A riveting and brilliantly plotted psychological suspense, this razor-sharp debut will keep readers guessing right up to the shocking ending.
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.