The Chalk Manby Published 09 Jan 2018
|The Chalk Man.pdf|
|Publisher||Crown Publishing Group (NY)|
“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
In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy 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.
“Tudor delivers an assured debut that alternates between 1986 and 2016 with unpredictable twists." —AP Review
"The Chalk Man" Reviews
I haven't felt this sure of a book's worthiness to be read since I picked up The Dry by Jane Harper back in January. I'll admit, I find myself enjoying a majority of the books that I read; I don't know if I'm just not as picky as other readers or if, after so many years of reading, I generally can tell what will tickle my fancy. That said, there are the books you enjoy, and then there are THOSE books. You know the ones I mean; the unicorns, the diamonds in the rough, the ones you'll be shoving in peoples face screaming "OH MYLANTA READ THIS BOOK! LET'S TALK ABOUT IT!!!" because it's just that good. Well, it's official-this one gets the highly prestigious Holy Guacamole stamp of approval from The Suspense Is Thrilling Me. Please, please, hold your applause.
After two close friends had read an arc of this (one of which sent me her prized copy to borrow because she's the bestest book bestie ever), I knew I had to pick it up immediately. I was nervous to get myself too hyped up over it, as I tend to become disappointed when that happens, but if there was ever a book worthy of being hyped this was it baby! I really don't want to say anything about the plot, other than it was constantly twisting and turning in ways I couldn't predict. This was a huge bonus, but I adore how this wasn't the focal point of the story; the entire plot wasn't dependent on cloak and dagger tricks yet was enhanced by the many reveals along the way. The story is told between past and present, but our narrator is one consistent voice recalling events from the past and telling the present plot, which gives a natural ease in following along. There are some graphic descriptions of violence in the act and in the aftermath, so those with a sensitive stomach may want to give this a hard pass, but otherwise I can't think of a single reason not to pick this book up if you're a fan of twisty psychological thrillers.
I struggle in believing that The Chalk Man is a debut novel for author C.J. Tudor; the writing quality is so excellent you could have told me a seasoned, bestselling author had written this and I would have believed you without question. The complex nature of the story, the insertion of comic relief and dark humor, as well as equal parts action and characterization inserted really made for the trifecta of perfect books. If I could give this novel 100 stars I would do so in a heartbeat! Sometimes you can just tell early on which books will be buzz worthy in the coming seasons, and I truly believe that The Chalk Man will be talked about non-stop by fans looking for their next psychological thriller in the crime fiction realm. Go ahead and pre-order this one, mark it on your TBR, do whatever you need to do to make sure you don't miss out on grabbing this book the SECOND it hits shelves. I'll be buying a finished copy for my personal collection as I can see this being a reread in the future for myself, although realistically I'll likely shove it at someone and make them read it instead. HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!!!!!
*Sorry, did I mention that I liked this book? Yes? Ok, just making sure. :)
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpress.com/
After hearing so many great things about “The Chalk Man” I decided I had to read it. This book was very hyped up and I hoped I wasn’t expecting too much. I went into it with an open mind and hoped for the best. I am happy to say that I really enjoyed it.
The book has a rather morbid opening, a gruesome discovery in the woods. I was immediately intrigued.
1986 - Eddie and his friends always met up on Saturday but THIS Saturday was different …the FAIR was in town. The fair had always been special but this was even better because it was the first time they were allowed to go on their own. No parents or other adults with them --- in their words… “it was going to be Ace”
“I could already hear the thump, thump of the fairground music, and smell the burgers and candyfloss. Today was going to be perfect”
But what starts as a wonderful day at the fair…ends in tragedy. It was the last normal day for all of them. The terrible day at the fair showed Eddie just how fast life can change.
“I understood how things can change in an instant. All the stuff we take for granted can just be ripped away”
But there was even more horror to come…
Life goes on and everyone does their best to put that day behind them. But it’s always there in the back of Eddie’s mind. When one of Eddie’s friends receives a bucket of chalk for his birthday, the boys are far from impressed. However, they soon find a good use for the chalk. It’s a great way to leave private messages for each other. But then the chalk figures start appearing on their own…
2016 - Eddie (Ed) is now forty-two years old. He’s tried hard to put the past behind him. Then a letter arrives from an unknown sender. When Ed sees what is inside the envelope he hopes it’s a joke or a prank. But it soon becomes clear that it is not a joke. It seems the past doesn’t want to be left behind. For Ed to truly move on it means he somehow has to figure out what really happened all those years before.
So many secrets…
“Everyone has secrets, things they know they shouldn’t do but do anyway. Mine was……
NOPE! I am not going to finish that sentence. You’ll have to read the book if you want to find out.
I find it hard to believe that “The Chalk Man” is C.J. Tudor’s debut novel. She knows how to write a story that pulls the reader in. There was so much going on, alternating between 1986 and 2016, different story-lines almost. But everything comes together. Some parts were a bit gruesome for my taste but I found the rest of the story made up for it.
I thought that this was a well-written read with a unique story-line, compelling situations, and some great twists. I really wanted to find out how everything was going to come together but I had to stop myself from jumping ahead as I found I almost missed a few things that the author strategically slipped in here and there. There were a few things I wished I had answers for but overall, I thought it all came together well. And that ending? I NEVER saw it coming.
Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
Now This is How You do It!!
C.J. Tudor has written One of the Best Thrillers of the YEAR my friends. If there is one mystery you decide to pick up - it should be this one!!
Reminiscent of Stephen King’s The Body - known to most people as the movie Stand By Me - “The Chalk Man” is a story about 5 young friends: (four boys and a girl), who go through an experience at the cusp of adolescence, something fierce and terrifying. Something that haunts them for the rest of their lives.
As kids in 1986, they live life freely: hanging out at the playground, riding bikes, sending coded messages to each other using different colored chalk. And then they discover something and it’s bad. It changes everything.
Fast forward to 2016 and everyone is quite grown up. Eddie known known as Ed, (one of the kids who made the discovery) is a teacher, living in the house he grew up in. The past haunts him, as it does the rest of the friends who stayed behind, including Gav and Hoppo. If only the past stayed in the past. Yet bad things: they keep happening. And somehow, Chalk Men keep appearing and Ed can’t figure out how or why. He knows it means something. He and the gang have to figure it out even if it’s the last thing they want. And even if it spells trouble.
“The Chalk Men” reads like an old school mystery.. I felt like I was back in the 80’s, living life, hanging out with my friends after school.. everything felt really familiar - well, except for the bad stuff that kept happening to Eddie, Gav, Nikki, Hoppo and Mike. Yeah that stuff? It never happened to me. (LOL!!)
This book wowed me big time. I couldn’t tear myself away. The characters, they felt like friends. Each one vivid, rich, alive... And what the kids discover? All I can say, I don’t know how they slept at night.. How it impacts them as adults and what happens to them then? Unfrakkinbelievable. C.J. Tudor knocked me for a loop. I didn’t see it coming. And I tried, believe you, me.
So what else can I tell you? This is a suspense novel you absolutely MUST-READ. If you don’t, you are missing out on one of the best mysteries out there.
This was a traveling sister read. It included Brenda, Norma, Lindsay, Diane, Melisa and Rita.
Thank you to NetGalley, Crown Publishing and C.J. Tudor for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Published on NetGalley, Goodreads, Twitter and Facebook on 11.4.17.
*Will be published on Amazon on 1.9.18.
Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
I know it's unusual to start a review by talking about the end of a book, but oh boy what an excellent ending that was!
12 year old Eddie Adams and his friends are like any other group of twelve year olds, carefree summer days messing about as kids do, until the day the fair visits the village of Anderbury. A Waltzer carriage breaks away at great speed and careens into the crowd, causing life changing injuries to one teenage girl in particular. That was bad enough, but it was also the day that Eddie met 'The Chalk Man'
Eddie and his mates devise a secret code made up of chalk messages in different colours - each colour being assigned to one of the gang, so they know exactly which one of them wrote each message. They leave messages at each other's homes, and it provides weeks of fun until the day they discover chalk figures leading them to a dead body, but none of the gang had left these messages!
The storyline flits between 1986 and 2016, but how the events of 30 years earlier affect these friends in the present I'm not telling! But rest assured it's a completely riveting journey. There was a great mystery at the heart of it, with some chilling, heart stopping moments, and many twists and turns. The characters were perfect and the whole thing kept me on tenterhooks right the way through. C.J.Tudor has a talent for sure, and it's hard to believe this is her debut novel. Spooky, gripping, compelling!
If a movie director doesn't pick up on this one I'll be very surprised!
*Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin UK, Michael Joseph for my ARC in exchange for an honest review*
well HOT damn!!!5 BIG chalk drawn stars🌟
WOW! I cannot believe this is this authors debut book.... it was just so extremely well thought out, the characters were well-developed, the pacing of the plot was perfect, I really just can’t think of anything wrong with this book....
The story is told from the perspective of Ed.... with two different timelines his present life as a teacher in 2016 and his 12-year-old memories in 1986....
Ed and his buddies find a dead body in the woods, and the murder has never quite been solved (at least not in Ed’s mind).... The boys had used chalk drawings to communicate with one another back in the day.... so when Ed receives a drawing and a piece of chalk in the mail, he begins his quest to figure out what really happened all those years ago.... I don’t want to say any more than that and ruin it... just know you will go on a wonderful adventure with Ed filled with twists and turns and revelations you never will see coming.....
In addition to this fantastic mystery filled with these wonderful characters, was the nostalgia of the 1980s....as somebody who spent all of her teenage years in the 80s, I thought the author did such an amazing job of making me long for those good old days.... A time when you could ride your bike to the playground, hang out with your friends all day, and didn’t need to come home until the street lights came on.... I didn’t grow up near woods, I never found a dead body, but this book did definitely make me feel a little nostalgic for my childhood....
Can’t wait to see what this author has in store for us next!
*** thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ***