Read advance reader review of The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor, page 2 of 4

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The Chalk Man

by C. J. Tudor

The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor X
The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor
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  • Published:
    Jan 2018, 288 pages

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There are currently 22 member reviews
for The Chalk Man
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  • Lani S. (Narberth, PA)

    The terrors of childhood
    A slow burner mystery that was way different from my usual read. The author has a very sound grasp of the thoughts and behaviors of 12 year old boys and has put her expertise to good use in this novel. The construction of different chapters that alternated between 1986 and 2016 were expertly tied together to provide a smooth flow yet made one anxious to find out more of the story from the different perspectives. How can you not be intrigued when the first sentence of a book starts out with the sentence, "The girl's head rested on a small pile of orange-and-brown leaves." Eddie, the main figure in the novel, has developed a secret code where he and his friends use chalk figures in different color chalks to designate private messages to one another, but the chalk drawings get confusing when they come upon a body severed into parts. Flash to 2016, when Eddie gets a drawing of a chalk figure in the mail and realizes it is time to put the past front and center and confront the mysteries of yesteryear. The mystery pulled me in but it was the earnest, honest voices that got my vote.
  • Rosemary C. (Golden, CO)

    An Engaging Story
    C.J. Tudor grabbed my attention in the first pages and didn't let go until the last page. She creates vivid, fully developed characters and masterfully transports the reader to their town. The chapters alternate between the events of 1986 and 2016, and the author writes so well that the relationship between the past and the present flow easily. It is both a harsh story and yet poignant with friendship, love and misunderstandings. The mysteries unfold a little at a time and by the end I am glad about the time I spent in this quaint English town with all these flawed, wonderful characters. I look forward to reading more by C.J. Tudor.
  • Patty S.

    Serious Page-Turner
    C.J. Tudor had my attention from page 1 of her debut novel about a group of friends in a small English town. When the book opens, we know that a murder has been committed, but the clues and handed out a little at a time until the very final question has been answered on the very last page. It is set in 1986 and 2006 through alternating chapters. The creepy factor kept the pages turning, but the book was also a sort of coming-of-age story with beautiful passages that were so very heart-filled. I predict Tudor will find great success. I'm looking forward to reading her next book!
  • Kristina H. (West Orange, NJ)

    Decent Chalky Fun
    If you're looking for a non-detective-centric, decently-written mystery with a healthy dose of twists and turns, The Chalk Man is for you. It is creepy and interesting, and it will keep you guessing until the end. That being said, The Chalk Man is not without it's faults. The alternating points of view (1986 Eddie and 2016 Ed) both sound like they are being told by the older Ed, and there are many instances when Tudor could show us what happened, but instead she tells us, making for a dry read. Perhaps it's a little predictable at times, and a little convoluted at others, but as a first novel, C.J. Tudor could do much worse. Looking forward to her future work.
  • Lori L. (La Porte, IN)

    Creepy, in a good way...
    The Chalk Man hits all the right notes for a creepy thriller. It's got death, dismemberment, ghosts, and how past decisions can come back to haunt us (sometimes literally). It's told from the alternating points of view of the protagonist, Eddie as a twelve year old and Ed the adult. Neither are completely reliable as a narrator, as they protect their own and others secrets. The plot is full of twists and turns and red herrings and I found myself racing through the pages to see how it all ended (which did not disappoint).
  • Linda S. (Tucker, GA)

    Gripping Debut Novel!
    "The Chalk Man" by C.J. Tudor is an engrossing tale of mystery (and like all good mystery novels, several mysteries are involved in the plot) and psychological suspense that grabbed me from the get-go. It would be a stretch, however, to term it a literary novel. While some of the writing is really good, it is often uneven, and some of the metaphors do not make sense (maybe because of the cultural differences between the US and the UK?). Nevertheless, it reminds me a Stephen King novel: eerie, kinda spooky, with several well-defined characters, and it would appeal to his audience. The author does a great job of tying everything together at the end to draw a satisfying - and surprising! - conclusion. Although I listen to mysteries, it is not the type of book I usually read, preferring instead good literature. Still, I enjoyed the book and would recommend for those looking for a light, yet gripping read.
  • Peggy K. (San Diego, CA)

    Children's Games
    I was struck by the resemblance to Stand By Me which also involved a group of young kids. This story involves a group of young kids who have formed together to find adventure and protect each other from bullies. They create a way to message each other by using chalk figures.

    It is a great game until a figure leads them to a murdered young girl.

    In the present we find one of the kids, Eddie, now grown. He is leading a fairly normal life when one of the group returns to town and is later found murdered. Suddenly the past returns with a vengeance and to save himself and his friends Eddie must find out what happened all those years ago.

    This is a rather creepy twisted tale and full of surprises along the way and especially at the end.

    Readers from 16 and up will enjoy this tale but perhaps it is most enjoyable for those of us who grew up in a quieter time when playing with friends meant getting out and not sitting in front of a computer.

Beyond the Book:
  Sidewalk Chalk

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