Title: The Chalk Man
Author: C.J. Tudor
Publisher: Michael Joseph
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.
Crime fans seeking something new and exciting, listen up: this is a riveting, intriguing novel which I absolutely loved!
The Chalk Man has the right balance of creepiness (plenty of that at times!) and comedy (dark comedy, mind!) plus some great character development. I loved Ed, despite his flaws and/or strangeness at times, and though the people around Ed had their own problems, and weren’t always that likable, they were very interesting so I still hugely enjoyed reading about them!
Ed was a great narrator, leading the reader back in time (to the 80’s – one of my favourite decades to immerse myself in) and then back around to present day, when I couldn’t wait to find out what on earth was – and had been – happening!
The Chalk Man featured lots of subtle clues and hints (which I always love!), plus BIG twists and turns (also love!) and that ending… it left me reeling!
I don’t want to say much more on the plot as I don’t want to give anything away or lead the reader to expect anything. I’ll just say that the writing is excellent – I can’t believe it’s a debut novel, and to be honest I’m sort of upset that it is because I want MORE to read now by C.J. Tudor – please, release something new soon!
The Chalk Man is a rollercoaster of mystery and surprise and a brilliant novel that I’d highly recommend. Read it now!
Many thanks to Michael Joseph and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.