Cover Image: The Chalk Man

The Chalk Man

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Member Reviews

The Chalk Man is a compelling, unputdownable thriller. Which is going to be a big in when it’s published.
It’s 1986 Eddie, Hoppo, Fat Gav and Metal Mickey and Nicky out at the fair in the village of Anderbury. When Eddie first meets the Chalk Man after an accident with the Waltzer breaks away and careers into a girl giving her life altering injuries. The boys devise a code and send messages to each other in different coloured chalks over the course of the summer, having fun, when one day they find chalk figures in a wood, leading them to discover a mutilated body buried in the ground. None of the gang have drawn these figures. 
For a debut novel I thought this was excellent and gripping I couldn’t put it down. I will also be looking forward to any other books that this author writes. This was original, not like other psychological thrillers I have read. It also reminded me of Stranger Things on Netflix or the Goonies type of vibe which reminded me of my own childhood. I loved it.
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4.5 stars

A very impressive debut novel by CJ Tudor, I found The Chalk Man reminiscent of the writing of a young Stephen King, with a tinge of Stranger Things/Stand by Me thrown in for good measure. The story moves back and forth between 1986  and 2016, and in doing so, we see the impressive cast of characters grow and with them, their secrets grow bigger too.
 
Our protagonist. Eddie is in his early 40s, going about his business day to day, sharing his ramshackle family home with his lodger Chloe, a 20-something woman who works in an alternative clothing shop and enjoys annoying Eddie's mum when she comes by to visit.

As we meet Eddie he has received a chalk drawing of a stick man that takes him back to his childhood friends and the leads him to re-evaluate the games they played as children. Following the chalk drawings they used to leave as a secret code for each other led them to a murdered, and dismembered girl. A girl Eddie had feelings for.  The reappearance of the chalk man in Eddie's life takes him on a journey both through the past he has tried to forget, and his unfolding present. 
 
As events unfold, it becomes clear that the game was never really over. Is Eddie in danger? 
 
There are many interesting and serious subjects covered in this book, the child becoming the parent, dementia, murder, jealousy, fear - but the main theme that runs throughout is that everyone has secrets, even children. And sometimes, they can be worse than you could ever imagine.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for proving me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

"Looking back, it all started on the day of the fair and the terrible accident. When twelve-year-old Eddie first met the Chalk Man.

It was the Chalk Man who gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages between his group of friends.

And it was fun, to start with, until the figures led them to the body of a young girl.

That was thirty years ago and Ed thought the past was behind him. Then he receives a letter containing just two things: a piece of chalk, and a drawing of a stick figure. As history begins to repeat itself, Ed realises the game was never over . . .

Everyone has secrets.

Everyone is guilty of something.

And children are not always so innocent."

Alternating between present day and 1986, this is a story of a group of twelve year old friends. They make a game of using chalk-drawn stick figures to send each other secret messages. Everything changes when they are led to a body in the woods. I am a big fan of multiple timelines and this was done really well.

However, I got a bit bored of the drama in every single chapter. I know this was done to great suspense and keep you on your toes but by the 6th major accident or death, it lost impact for me. Most characters lacked any development which meant that I didn't connect with anyone and didn't really care that they died or were being threatened. There is a nice little twist at the end, but I felt that there were so many clues dropped into the backstory to make sure the twist made sense that it did not even come as a big surprise. 

Overall, The Chalk Man was not a bad book but it did not live up to the hype for me. I have read some gleaming reviews and seen it described as 'The Book of 2018' but my experience did not match this. C.J. Tudor has a very good and distinctive writing style so I do look forward to future work from her, this one just wasn't for me. 

3.5/5*
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This has to be one of the most unique books I have ever read. To start with I wasn't even sure I liked it but as the story developed I got more into it.

With more twists and macabre turns than you can shake a stick at, this book is well worth a read.
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The Chalk Man is a debut novel with many intriguing elements.  As a boy Ed comes to the rescue of a young girl injured following an accident at a fair.  This sets off a chain of events that resonates to present day.  Switching from past to present, the novel is a coming of age drama, a horror story and a psychological thriller with an interesting twist at the end.
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Now this is what you call a great read!!This is my favourite genre of book but it was quite different to the usual thriller type books I read. To me, In a way it has a sort of feeling of the series Stranger things on Netflix (which is very popular) which is also about a group of boys that strange things happen to them. The story goes between 1986 to 2016 but what happens in between is the real mystery which I’m not going to spoil for you. All in all a brilliant read which I recommend 100%
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There are Those kind of books that you just know so deserve your 5* rating, and this is one of them.

Its a story that is going to stand out to me, its kind of unique in its story telling, I felt Eddie was actually speaking to me and telling me his life story.

A groups of boys, making their own adventure dream up a secret code that involves drawing stick men as signs. Each boy has a different colour chalk to represent who the message is from. Very ingenious I thought........until things start to go wrong. 

Eddie is now grown telling us his story and his part. Then it flicks back nicely to years before when he was with his mates, its all tied in really well, not confusing at all and very well done.

This book is very different in its writing, it feels very different in its approach which will make this stand out from the crowd for sure.

We have a newly hired teacher Mr Halloran who features in several places within this story.
A girl named Elisa who Eddie was quite taken with even at a young age.


A murder in the woods.

This author C.J. Tudor has a fabulous way with words which keeps you hooked and some really good gems within its sentences which if you read carefully you will never forget.

Eddies summer that changed everything in his adult life is a remarkable story that you won't be able to put down.

My thanks to Penguin UK - Michael Joseph via Net Galley for my early copy
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It's 1986 and 12 year old Eddie is at the town's fair.  It is here he meets the Chalk Man who gives him the idea of using chalk drawings to communicate in secret with his mates.  However, the chalk men lead them down a dark path to a dismembered body.  30 years later the chalk men reappear and Ed finds himself experiencing a waking nightmare.

This thriller has a hint of the supernatural about it.  I can see this doing really well, it's entertaining and a page turner.  Moving between 1986 and 2016, it reminded me of Stephen King's Stand By Me.  The only downside was it doesn't quite capture the 80's, Eddie talks about his dad working from home on a computer, this doesn't ring true (this was a time when broadband wasn't widespread and people didn't have the technology to work from home.
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There was something so familiar about the description of the summer of 1986 here with the group of kids going everywhere on their bikes and with each of them having a nickname. However this is not a cosy, nostalgic look at young Eddie’s life and there are several dark topics included. Like many other reviewers it did bring to my mind the movie Stand by Me, which I would suggest is a compliment. There is a great cast of characters and it was interesting to chart the changes in them between 1986 and 2016. 
There is a great feel to the narrative which I think would work really well as an audiobook.
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I can’t remember the last book I enjoyed as much as The Chalk Man.  Actually I can remember – and it was probably a classic Stephen King chiller.  The Chalk Man is very reminiscent of ‘It’ or 'The Body' (filmed as ‘Stand By Me’) in that it takes the reader to the traumatic horrors that happened to our characters when they were little gang of misfit kids back in the 1980’s and then it jumps to the present day and we see how those events have affected their adult lives.  Yes, The Chalk Man is very Stephen King-like but that’s not a bad thing – this kind of British horror story is always a pleasure to read.

There are practically too many treasures to mention in this review –one highlight for me was the spookiest ghost I’ve encountered in a book for many years (since Danny Glick in ‘Salems Lot’ actually, but he was a vampire so I suppose he doesn’t count) and the ending was absolutely heart stopping.  I went to sleep with the light on.

I love it.  It will be a massive hit and I take my hat off to C. S. Tudor; I hope she’s got a lot more stories up her sleeve.

Many, many thanks to Penguin, to NetGalley and to Ms Tudor for giving me the privilege of reading and reviewing The Chalk Man.  I would recommend it enthusiastically to anyone.
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First title I Have read by this author, and certainly wont be the last.  I enjoyed the story and found it well written, and easy to get into,
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The Chalk Man is a chilling psychological thriller that is very hard to put down .The story goes back and forward from 1986 when Eddie and his friends were 12 years old to the present .It all started at the Fair but this was the beginning of an event that will have repercussions and change all the boys lives.I loved the characters and could just imagine these boys on their bikes making the most of the summer, they used coloured chalk to leave messages for each other .I particularly liked the ending wow just brilliant .
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This is a great read. In 1986, Eddie and his friends are 12 years old with nothing better to do than cycle around and have fun. Until the day they find a dismembered body in the woods...... Now in 2016, the events of that time still haunt Eddie, and when he and his friends all receive a letter warning them about the chalk man, they begin to wonder if that killer from way back is still at large. Told in the 2 time frames, this is a real page turner which will keep you guessing right to the end. Thanks to NetGalley for a preview copy.
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A gripping page turner that left me wanting more. I was constantly trying to guess the who, the what and why and never quite grasped it
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What can I say except WOW! I hadn't heard of Chalk Man until I got an email asking me if I'd like to read it so I wasn't sure what to expect. Upon reading what I found was a novel that well and truly had me. Honestly, I couldn't put the book down. 

Every time I thought I had it all figured out, it went in a different direction. The story is some what slow building, plenty of detail, although I think I could re-read and still find clues missed from the first time round. The way it is written gives it a real eerie feel, as though you should be looking over your shoulder. And the ending, well that was the icing on the cake. 

The Chalk Man is mysterious and thrilling, a real page turner. This is a who done it with a mega twist, one not to be missed!
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Maybe 3.5 stars. This was an enjoyable enough suspense story about a group of friends back in 1986 and in 2016. The story is told along the 2 timelines. It has some good twists. I enjoyed the references to the 80s. 
Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book. All opinions are my own.
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I really enjoyed this book. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for an ARC of this!
There were touches of Stephen King's Stand By Me with a group of young friends finding a dead body and the adult version of one of the boys narrating the story. This helped reel me in from the beginning.
I loved the flashback-present day style narration. I found it flowed really nicely, with the 1986 narration having a more childish feel than the 2016 narration which just went with the story. 
There are so many twists and turns, the final one being the best for me! 
The book is really well written. The characters pull you in and are believable. 
I will be recommending this book to anyone who wants to listen!
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Well, I must admit, when I first started reading this book (ebook, thanks to Netgalley) I was all for a 2-3 start rating, due to the fact you have to read from the past-preasent/Future...from 12 year old Eddie to 42 year old Ed.

but once I was around 60% into the book, I became rather hooked as I was wanting to know who is the killer...👻👻👻👻

I don't like spoiler reviews so please don't think I'm going to give any away.

I also went into this book not even knowing fully what it was about, all I had seen was the "HangMan" drawing online aswell as the title being "The Chalk Man".

brilliant read, and a fast one too... (I would've finished this in a couple of days, but due to being ill in bed, sleep came first)

I've now decided it's a 4 star and I would highly recommend it too. 

also, I did NOT see that coming at the end 😲😲😲😲 

well done C.J.Tudor this being the first book I've read of yours
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WOW! This book is definitely one of the best you will read this year!!
Fast paced and grippy from start to finish.
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The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor was an excellent thriller that I found addictive. I could not put down and I read it in one day. The story was creepy and full of suspense. The characters were interesting and likeable. I am eagerly awaiting more books from this author. I would like to thank NetGalley and Penguin UK - Michael Joseph for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
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