Cover Image: The Chalk Man

The Chalk Man

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Member Reviews

I imagine that this book will go out to many of our regular crime readers and might entice some new ones. It wasn’t for me and I quite struggled waiting for the storyline to really hook me but that didn’t happen.

However I can completely see how others may really enjoy it!
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#TheChalkMan #NetGalley 

I haven't read such type of book in my life.
The Chalk Man is coming . . .

'None of us ever agreed on the exact beginning. Was it when we started drawing the chalk figures, or when they started to appear on their own? Was it the terrible accident? Or when they found the first body?' 
Characters and dialogues are brilliant. It's a powerful debut. 
Highly recommended. 
Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin UK for giving me an advance copy.
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This was a really enjoyable spooky thriller with a nice few juicy twists. I enjoyed the story was told over 2 different time spans and it was good to see the characters development and connections. 3.5/4
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Enjoyable read, bit of a shocker at the end though! Really enjoyed how the story flicked back to the past and then to the present and it was all wrapped up really well at the conclusion.
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The Chalk Man was definitely a page turner. I really liked the unreliable and complicated plots. Only bad part was i didn't learn all the answers. Overall it was a really good mystery book. 3.5/5
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A slower paced novel but I'm glad I stuck with it, overall it made of a really good read. I wasn't sure with all the hype that on with it but it was well worth it in the end, definitely worth a read.
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I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher on Netgalley.

At the beginning of the book, a group of friends stumbles on to something and throughout the rest of the books we see how that impacted their lives. The dual timeline was a great way to show us how the different boys were affected by the event and how they dealt with it as grown ups.I

I liked the complexity of the characters. They had really rich backgrounds.
The author does a great job of keeping us on our toes in reagards to who the bad guy is. A few times I thought I had things figured out, but I was wrong. 

I didn't find the book to be too thrilling or scary at all, which disappointed me a bit. The pace was slow. I have heard this book compared to Stephen King, and while I would not go that far, I have to agree that it was a solid read and fans of the genre should definitely pick it up.
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This book had me gripped from beginning to end!  The slightly gruesome opening had me hooked and I remained on tenterhooks until the end. Suspense was built brilliantly, characters were all developed well and a perfectly paced plot. Even flicking between 1986 and the present was done well- just enough to keep you guessing!

Would recommend to those who enjoy mystery/thriller.
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Th boo is told over two time periods, the 1980s and he present day.  

There has been a murder and it is up to ed, the main character, to solve the crime.

The book was a good read and had me guessing motives and suspects

I enjoyed the book and it kept me guessing to the end
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Although widely reviewed and praised already, C. J. Tudor- The Chalk Man, was as brilliant as everyone has proclaimed so far. With its split timeline, shades of Stephen King, and one of the best endings I have read for some time, this was a real almost in one sitting job. I loved the authenticity of the character’s voices as youngsters, and Tudor’s building of suspense and tension was just nerve shredding. An absolute dream for booksellers across the land to recommend, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
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The Chalk Man is coming . . .

'None of us ever agreed on the exact beginning. Was it when we started drawing the chalk figures, or when they started to appear on their own? Was it the terrible accident? Or when they found the first body?'

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.

I'm a huge thriller fan so always impressed when writing me makes me terrified!  I did not want to put this down and read it in super speedy time.  Genuinely chilling with echoes of IT.  The focus on a childhood game going wrong is probably what lends the added creepiness and I also liked the different time eras used to move the story along.  Well worth a read.
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This debut novel spans the late 80's to the present day, weaving a web of intrigue and deceit in equal measure in an exciting thriller that you won't want to put down!

In 1986, Eddie, along with his group of friends Hoppo, Fat Gav, Metal Mickey and Nicky are twelve-year-olds without a care in the world, until a trail of chalk drawings leads to a dismembered body in the woods.

When, thirty years later, the chalk drawings reappear, Eddie is drawn back into the mystery and is determined to try and uncover the truth.

The novel touches on the topical issues of the time, with Eddie's mother caught up in a storm for performing abortions at her clinic, which attracts negative attention not only from local residents, but also from the church community and lends an interesting narrative to the story.

Anderbury, the town where all of the action takes place, is portrayed as a haven of secrets, lies and bitterness, which adds to the tension and drama of the storyline.

Tudor succeeds in creating a thriller which has you on the edge of your seat until the final climax which adds a definite twist to the tale! Highly recommended!
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There’s a lot of hype surrounding this book, and I’m so sorry to say that I have not gotten swept up in it. 2.5 stars. 

Initially this book sounded like an interesting and unique story, but in reality it came across as a rehashing of Stephen King’s IT. The parallels between these two books are numerous, far too many for it to be considered a coincidence. 

For anyone who hasn’t read IT, this book is probably much more appealing. But for me, I kept waiting for Pennywise to appear, and for the Loser Club to win the day, actually I was waiting for happen, I got my wish with about 20 pages left in the book, but by then it was too little, too late. 

Some elements were quite interesting, and surprising, particularly the unexpected consequences of certain character’s actions. And the ending is what got my rating another half star. But mostly I was disappointed, I struggled to warm to any of the characters, and some of the minor plot elements seemed pointless, and contributed nothing to the main story. Such a shame. 

Thank you to C.J. Tudor, Penguin UK - Michael Joseph, and NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Well, consider my mind well and truly fucked. What a fantastic debut novel!
The prologue immediately sucked me right into this strangely atmospheric thriller and I just couldn’t put this down even if I wanted to. I expected the constant switching between past and present to be off-putting, but in this case both timelines were very skillfully interwoven and definitely contributed to the nailbiting cliffhangers!

I’m pretty sure Gillian Flynn fans are going to love this. The dynamic between the characters and the whole atmosphere even gave me an almost Stranger Things-like vibe. I didn’t like nor dislike Eddie, which I think was the point, and the last few sentences actually gave me the chills!

I think it’s best that you go into this unprepared, unspoiled and completely blind like I did, so I’m going to end this here!
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A delightfully dark debut from CJ Tudor. I have had The Chalk Man in my “TBR” pile for longer than I intended (her second novel is just a few weeks away).

I enjoyed The Chalk Man – the story zipped along at cracking pace and happily I was totally wrong in my predictions as to how the story was going to pan out. Through a nice series of then/now narratives I felt that the reader got a comprehensive look at the key characters in the story from their formative years to present day.

The formative years are important as it is in the past that the seeds of horror are sewn. A tragic event at a funfair has lasting consequences for a young girl. A group of young friends are on the cusp of their teen years – they will face fears, family turmoil and experience tragedy before the book draws to a conclusion.

The key character is Ed.  As an adult he is a 40-something single man and he has a few significant character flaws.  As a child Ed was a troubled 12 year old, member of a gang of 5 pals from very different backgrounds.  His parents were causing him embarrassment (and his mother’s job brought unwelcome attention). Also Ed is right on hand at the funfair incident – a day which may shape how Ed’s life will pan out.

The Chalk Man delivered surprises and twists and, as I indicated above, I enjoyed the story as it kept me reading to see how it would pan out.  Well worth picking this one up.
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An interesting concept that was well written. I enjoyed this book - would read more by this author in the future.
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When a book has received so much hype, it's difficult not to pick it up with a sense of foreboding. Will it live up to expectations, or prove a disappointment?
I'm happy to say The Chalk Man was a worthwhile read. Perhaps not the 'spooky' one I'd expected, but certainly atmospheric. The sections set in the 1980s were deliciously evocative of the era, with so many references I could identify with.
I won't go into plot details but instead say I found the book well-written and perfectly paced. Its style was more simplistic than I'd imagined (not a criticism, it suited the story and the cast of characters). My only small quibble would be with the ending, which I felt didn't do it justice. But an accomplished debut and I look forward to reading the author's follow-up in 2019.
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After reading the hype I could not wait to read this book. Engaging and well written, but not as thrilling as I expected. I do not want to give too much away. Recommended reading.
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-General information about The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor-
The Chalk Man is supposed to be a very scary book about children and some games they play. The book is, indeed, gory. If you get squeamish about body parts spectacularly falling out of places they originally belonged to, this book is not a proper reading choice for you. I don’t watch such scenes in movies but looks like I need something more than the scrutinised anatomy of amputated limbs to scare me when it comes to books.The only thing that scared me, actually, was the wish to drop The Chalk Man 50 percents into the story. I had been longing for the book so much! I had been so excited to have my request for it approved! I had thanked the publisher, I had received good wishes from the author and here I was, not being able to last through another page. I summoned my courage and continued. Here is my obviously honest review.

-What’s good about The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor-
The story does manage to become slightly more interesting after the middle of the book. You start getting a clearer picture of who the victims are and what actually happened to them. There are also a few unexpected and well-arranged plot twists. The whole plot is knitted from many different threads so it’s also interesting to see how they connect eventually.

-What’s bad about The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor-

The dialogues
The dialogues in any book could help reveal a character. It doesn’t mean that a dialogue should be rubbed over a character like a thick layer of warning signs: attention, she’s a bitch! Look out, he’s an idiot! Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens with the dialogues in The Chalk Man. The lodger of the protagonist, for example, is not able to appear in any scene without producing a bitchy remark. Like a stupid robot, she says something unpleasant whenever she opens her mouth, just for the sake of it. The protagonist himself is not able to mention her without a snappy remark of his own even if it’s about a banal, unrelated to the plot, shopping list. In fact, he always tries to impress you with his misplaced humour but instead he just sounds like a distant relative whose silly jokes you have to acknowledge with a polite smile.

The characters
None of them is developed enough to be multidimensional. They are all just tools to serve the plot. They never grow larger than a function assigned to them.

The clichés
Warning: if you know these clichés they will turn into spoilers for you.

Below are a few clichés from the book. How many of them will you be able to guess? If you do recognise a cliché though, it will be a spoiler for you. Question one: what will happen to a pet in a spooky thriller? Question two: what will happen to a person who announces he knows who the murderer is but will reveal the name later? As for the villain, it’s not a butler (because there’s no butler ) but it gets close to that.

-The constant premonitions in The Chalk Man-
Suspense is a condiment. You add it to the whole dish to spice it up, to make it more interesting. What will happen to the dish if you unload the whole pack of spices in it? Exactly. Suspense is a must in a thriller but it cannot be the main substance of the plot! You can’t lead a reader through the most of your book just by a mere promise to reveal something spooky later.

-Final thoughts on The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor-
I’ve seen people praising the book and saying they left the lights on at night and couldn’t go to sleep while reading the book. My experience wasn’t anything like that. I guess I should be scared by a different type of things and whatever they are, they should be better written.

Thanks a lot to the publishers for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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This isn't one i'll forget in a hurry - a great page turner: bit creepy, bit twisty and finishes with the literary equivalent of a slap across the face!
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