Wednesday, January 17, 2018

TLC Book Tours Book Review: The Chalk Man

About The Chalk Man

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Crown (January 9, 2018)
The must-read thriller of 2018, this riveting and relentlessly compelling psychological suspense debut weaves a mystery about a childhood game gone dangerously awry that 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 one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever 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 that his friends got the same message, 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.
“Readers will undoubtedly be reminded of the kids of Stand by Me and even IT…[the] first-person narration alternates between past and present, taking full advantage of chapter-ending cliffhangers. A swift, cleverly plotted debut novel that ably captures the insular, slightly sinister feel of a small village. Children of the 1980s will enjoy the nostalgia.”—Kirkus 
“I haven’t had a sleepless night due to a book for a long time. The Chalk Man changed that.” —Fiona Barton, New York Times bestselling author of The Widow
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Review: This book is one that leaves you breathless when you finish it. It is told in alternating timelines, which I'm not always a fan of. I'm not 100% sure I'm a fan of it here either, since it felt like one chapter was in 2016 and the next 1986, when you just want the story to progress from one point or the other. That didn't stop me from turning the pages though.

Eddie and his friends are really compelling characters. The events in Eddie's past are horrifying, but the past is coming back to haunt all of them and in a big way. It starts out as one death and then more and as you find out how everything is connected, it will blow your mind.

I didn't particularly like any of the characters, which doesn't mean I wasn't invested in the book. These characters all had something about them that made sure that you couldn't really feel sympathetic to their problems, even Eddie who is the focal character.

It all starts with an accident at the fair, where a girl gets severely injured by the Waltzer ride. Then there's the new English teacher, Mr Hammond that teaches them about the chalk language and helps Eddie and his dad, and Mickey's brother's accident, and a pretty screwed up Vicar. So many weird people and they all tie into things in the most unusual way.

The only thing that really got to me was the death of Murphy the dog, mostly because I hate animal deaths in stories.

This book was wonderfully well written. Once you start it, you won't want to put it down! Its definitely one of the best psychological thrillers I've read in a long time. The ending is definitely not what I expected.

Rating: 5 flowers

About C. J. Tudor

C. J. TUDOR lives in Nottingham, England, with her partner and three-year-old daughter. Over the years she has worked as a copywriter, television presenter, voice-over, and dog walker. She is now thrilled to be able to write full-time, and doesn’t miss chasing wet dogs through muddy fields all that much. The Chalk Man is her first novel.


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Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

This sounds like an incredibly good read - it is at the top of my TBR list right now!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.

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