Cover Image: The Chalk Man

The Chalk Man

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Member Reviews

Its nothing that i havent read before. Full of cliches and borrowed heavily from most of Stephen Kings works. A shame, as i was looking forwars to this one too.
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This was a dark and creepy psychological thriller with many twists and turns before the final denoument.
Told in the first person by Ed and set in two time frames, 1986 and the present day it is the story of something which happened to Ed and his gang at age 12 that has had a profound influence on the rest of their lives. The grown up characters all carry secrets which are not revealed until the very last page. Ed is the epitome of the unreliable narrator as the reader only sees the events from his view both as adult and child and is not sure how much to trust what he says. At age 42 he is still living in the same town and house as he did as a child and he is now a teacher at the local school.  He comes over as slightly weird, collecting all sorts of things and keeping them filed in boxes in his spare room. He reminded me a little  of John Fowle's "Collector" as I wasn't quite sure what to make of him. He is still friends with Hoppo and Fat Gav although there is some strange dynamics within the group,and animosity,  particularly towards Mickey who has left the area.
The past events take place over a Summer when Ed's group of friends discover a body. Although someone is presumed guilty of the murder Ed is convinced it is the wrong person. Chalk signs. lead them to the discovery and Ed suffers nightmares as  both an adult and a 12 year old afraid the Chalk Man is coming back.
When chalk clues and notes start to appear  in 2016. as they did 30 years ago Ed is sure that the murderer has returned.
This book kept me guessing right up to the last page. There are a lot of dark characters within the novel and all have something to hide.  The Chalk Man is well written with great characterisations. It is perfect for readers who like noir thrillers with lots of twists such as Gone Girl or Girl On the Train.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for my arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Absolutely loved this dark twisted thriller that kept me guessing right to the end. A group of children spend their childhood years together, exploring and playing in their local area but things are always as they seem. Now adults things start to surface including the chalk drawings they used as a code when they were young. Who is trying to contact them and why? 
A super read that has you hooked from the very first page
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4.5 stars. Wow this book had me hooked from the first page. It was very creepy and full of twists I certainly didn’t see coming. I loved the way the story unfolded through the alternating chapters and timelines. Would definitely recommend this book.
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The Chalk Man is a riveting read that begins with a grisly discovery in the woods. The story is set in 1986 when the Eddie and his group of friends, Fat Gav, Metal Mickey, Hoppo and Nicky are twelve years old, and present day when Eddie is a 42 year old teacher still living in his childhood home. As children they communicated with each other by drawing stalk men in chalk and enjoy their summer holiday until a fairground accident shakes up their world and their chalk symbols lead them to find a girl's body parts.  

The Chalk Man isn't only a murder mystery but also explores childhood friendships and how events that happen in the past sometimes cannot be hidden and return to haunt in adulthood. In addition, unlike many other murder mysteries and thrillers, the ending doesn't disappoint. The book is sure to be a great success. Many thanks to NetGalley and Penguin UK/Michael Joseph for the opportunity to read and review it.
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"History itself is only ever a story, told by those who survive it."

The Chalk Man opens shockingly, with a grisly discovery in the woods. The subsequent story moves between 1986 - when narrator Eddie is twelve years old - and the present day. In 1986, Eddie and his friends - Fat Gav, Metal Mickey, Hoppo and Nicky - roam around the town and countryside of Anderbury on their bikes. When the  idea of secretly communicating with each other via stick people, drawn in chalk, is suggested to them they embrace it with alacrity. But the chalk men will lead them to a sinister discovery.

In the present day, Eddie - now a 42-year-old teacher, single and still living in the same house he grew up in, still socialising with the same friends - has in many ways not moved on that much from his childhood self. The past will never quite stay buried and when Eddie receives a letter with a picture of a stick man and a piece of chalk, it's clear that whatever happened then is not yet over.

Although this is categorised as a thriller there is a definite vein of horror running through it. At certain points I was strongly reminded, in a good way, of Stephen King - having read some other reviews subsequently, I see I'm far from the only one to make that comparison. I'd like to explore this further but that's difficult to do while avoiding spoilers! Certain aspects of setting (the fairground, the woods), character (Mr Halloran, Sean and others), plot and style were at times very reminiscent and this was especially so in some "dream" sequences.  The concept of the chalk men as a central theme is brilliantly effective.

The characterisation is very strong. Eddie and his little gang of friends have their own distinct personalities which clearly emerge, and other townspeople are similarly convincing. The unusual character of Mr Halloran, the faintly sinister "Pale Man" from whom the idea of the chalk men originally came, was wonderfully depicted and I could visualise him so clearly. (The David Bowie comparison didn't hurt.) Eddie himself I found to be a largely sympathetic character, even if there was always a certain element of doubt about his reliability as a narrator...

This was a terrific read: hauntingly dark, deceptive and unpredictable yet with moments of humour and humanity. I think it will be deservedly successful.

A review will be posted on my blog, closer to the time of publication,
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Loved it! A great cast of characters that really carried the story along. The style of writing is bang on - not a wasted word in there, and fully expect this to be one of the ones to watch next year.
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Well this was certainly different, I thoroughly enjoyed it and found myself wanting to get back to it and continue - always a sign of a good book with me.
It has the modern-day pre-requisite of moving between two eras, but it did not detract from the story, but I feel that this has been done once too often for my comfort.  It is distracting always moving years.
However I enjoyed the characterisation and the geographical location as that is familiar to me, this always makes a book enjoyable.  I really hope that we can continue to receive more British authors writing crime novels, they are almost always brilliant.
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A really good read. The characters are well drawn and totally believable.  This had me guessing right to the end.  The gradual unfolding of the mystery is excellent.  I strongly recommend it.
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Loved this book so much, want to give it more than a five.
Found the style of writing different and refreshing.
Loved how the past and present intertwined and unfolded.
All the characters are absorbing and play apart in keeping you in suspense.
Excellent from start to finish.

What a debut...........

Thank you Netgalley, C J Tudor and Penguin for allowing me to read and review this book.
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The Chalk Man
5 big stars from me! The Chalk Man is coming .... what a great read. I read this book in 4 sittings and was totally gripped by it. There's lots of different aspects to the book that all come together at the end so no unanswered questions and a great ending.
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This book had shades of the great Stephen King for me. A group of young teens knocking about in their home town, a fairground and a tragic accident; I kept waiting for Pennywise to appear! Fortunately the The Chalk Man doesn't suffer by comparison. A read-in-one-sitting thriller with a side order of slightly crazy. Brilliant.
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Ed and his friends stumble upon a hand, and arm and other parts of a girl who has been brutally murdered. But what has lead to this unfortunate event and how can this happen in a small quiet town. When the drawings of chalk men appear that is when tragedy seems to strike! 

Tudor has written an exceptional book that is slow and deliberate allowing for the reader to absorb everything, even the minute details that would be easily overlooked. A thriller full of twists and children who aren't always innocent. I loved this book, it was was brilliant from the start and will have any reader hooked from the first page. It definitely will be 'The' book of 2018 and cannot wait to read what others think of this fantastic novel. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin UK for the copy in exchange for my honest review.
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What a fantastic read! A dark and haunting debut novel. I really enjoyed the book and read it in one sitting, it kept me interested all the way through and the chilling story has stayed with me ever since finishing. 
The main characters are 4 childhood friends and the story focuses around the events that occurred in a small town in 1986 and the aftermath 30 years later. 
The style of writing and storyline is reminiscent of Stephen Kings IT, absolutely brilliantly put together with an amazing end. A well deserved 5 stars! 
Thank you to Net Galley and the publishers for my advance copy in return for an honest review.
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With storytelling this good its hard to believe that this is a debut Novel. This book is being touted as one of the must read books of 2018 and I normally dont buy that kind of hype but sometimes the publicists are right. This book could and should be a big one.

Some reviews are comparing it to Stand By Me crossed with The Goonies but I dont think thats fair, it has its own place and deserves it.
Told between 1986 and 2016 we get to be part of the lifes of Eddie, Fat Gav, Hoppo, Metal Mickey, and Nicky for the summer of 1986 and the consequences of that summer 30 years later.

The writing has everything you could want from a story, characterisations, Plot and outcome all faultlessly brilliant. It left me yearning for those childhood summer days of adventure but with out the ending.

Highly recommended.
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Absolutely cracking read, picked it up and raced through it in just one sitting.  Really enjoyed trying to work out what had gone on, and couldn't wait to find out.
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I really enjoyed this book and read it very quickly. The characters, mainly a group of childhood friends were very well described and very plausible- you would instantly recognise them if you met them.
The story is very clever, with lots of twists and turns. It all makes sense at the end. 
A very enjoyable book.
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My favourite read of the year. It kept me guessing right to the (very satisfying) end. I may have to re-read it!
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I was recommended to read this book but I have to say, I didn't love it. Not even fully sure why. It has everything that I would usually love but I just couldn't gel to it. It was an ok read but not something I would strongly recommend.
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Kept me interested all the way through and trying to figure out who was on the right side of right. Great style of writing interweving the present day with 20 years ago. Will look out for more from this author.
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