The Chalk Man

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 09 Apr 2018

Member Reviews

This was my first time to pick up a C.J. Tudor novel, and I'm glad I did! The debut novel by this English author, who has quite a colorful biography, has set the bar high in the thrill and mystery factor. Too often a mystery novel is predictable. The plot line is easy to determine, and you know who did it long before you get to the end. Not so with "The Chalk Man." The story about a group of boys and a girl, the passage of time and a handful of chalk had me guessing until the last two or three pages. To tell more might give away the secrets that unfold, often against the characters' wishes, and the consequences of those untold tales.
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This is a well-crafted thriller and mystery with elements of Gothic horror. A circle of grammar school friends at age 12 in an English village in the mid-80s help each other sustain the pains of repressive families at home and oppression by teachers and bullies at school. The diverse personalities and family origins of the circle are wonderfully drawn in this debut novel. Eddie and his four friends (3 male, 1 female) bike their way around on typical childhood adventures and try to figure out their future roles in the adult world. They develop a system of communicating their plans by outdoor chalk markings and figures. One day they get all get a chalk message to meet in the woods...

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This was a gripping read.  There was so many twists and turns to keep the reader on the edge of their seat, that you don't want to put the book down because you have to know what's really going on.  It such a roller coaster ride that once it's finished, that everything around you feels like it is dull and boring!  Great characters, great atmosphere and a real pleasure to read.  I can not wait to read the authors next book!
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I've been on a mystery/thriller kick lately, so The Chalk Man was right up my alley and it was such a great start to my 2018 reading year.

The story is told with flashbacks - every other chapter is the present and alternates with the past. I enjoyed the way the story was unfolding while switching back and forth. You had glimpses of what happened to Eddie and his friends when they were young all while trying to solve the mystery that has eluded everyone for almost 30 years.

Eddie and his band of misfit friends have the most interesting summer of their lives when an accident happens at the fair, a boy drowns in the river, chalk drawings appear everywhere and a young girl's body...

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This book feels almost like two experiences to me: one was exciting to read, leading me to want to read the next chapter quickly; the other seemed overwhelming with details, possible suspects and scenarios, just too much happening. While I initially enjoyed the plot and pacing, with the alternating time periods of 1986 and 2016, by the end, I was worn out.

The narrator, Ed/Eddie (2016/1986) introduces us to the story and to the main characters: his group of friends, his family, the school and some townspeople who will figure prominently in future events. He and his friends are 12, about to turn 13, and noticing girls now. There are a series of startling events that happen over the course...

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"Oh! What A Tangled Web We Weave When First We Practice To Deceive"
-Sir Walter Scott

The Chalk Man is one of those books where for a few pages you think so-and-so did it, then you switch and start giving the evil eye to another character only to change again a chapter later. I like those and need them because I need the reminder that I'm not so freaking smart and people can still surprise me, writers and characters that I think I've grown to know.

Told mostly by 42-year-old Ed, both dealing with a semi-unfulfilling life today and looking back to his growing up with childhood friends, "Fat Gav", "Metal Mickey", & "Hoppo", he's...

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This book is one that leaves you breathless when you finish it. It is told in alternating timelines, which I'm not always a fan of. I'm not 100% sure I'm a fan of it here either, since it felt like one chapter was in 2016 and the next 1986, when you just want the story to progress from one point or the other. That didn't stop me from turning the pages though.

Eddie and his friends are really compelling characters. The events in Eddie's past are horrifying, but the past is coming back to haunt all of them and in a big way. It starts out as one death and then more and as you find out how everything is connected, it will blow your mind.

I didn't particularly...

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This was the first novel I read after Christmas, and it was the perfect moody read for a chilly winter day. I loved the scenes with young Eddie and his friends using their chalk man code, and their reactions to the initial discovery of the dead body, but the mystery that adult Eddie and his now-grown friends had to solve kept me absorbed – and even guessing – to the end of the story.

What I really appreciated in Tudor’s writing was the way she lulls readers into the every-day life of a sleepy town before throwing in a suspenseful twist. Her voice, at least in this novel, is quietly engaging, and I would have been equally happy if she’d written something that was a family drama, but I’m...

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Its 1984 and boys are spending days riding their bikes around town.  Sounds innocent, but there is underlying evil.
Excellent, compelling read that will keep you up reading late into the night.
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I really wanted to love this book, but I think it had so much hype, that it could never live up to it. I did really like it a lot though. I do not want to give the story away so will be brief in my description. The Chalk Man is told in two different time periods, one in 1986 and the other in 2016. The story opens with the death and dismemberment of a young girl. This shapes the characters in the story. Eddie is the narrator and the story is told based on what happened to him in 1986. The group of friends consists of four boys and one girl. When Gavin received a pail of chalk for his 12th birthday, the kids begin to secretly communicate with one another using stick figures drawn in chalk of...

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This debut novel took me by surprise. I didn't know what to think going in. The title leads you to believe it is a 'serial killer' novel (it is NOT), and my fellow book bloggers seemed to either love it or... it left them apathetic.

Well folks, I'm one of those that LOVED it. I enjoyed the characters, the setting, the story, and, most of all, the writing. When you find yourself highlighting a lot, and reading aloud to your (uninterested) husband, then for me the writing struck a chord. Sentences like: "...my laughter lines lost their sense of humour some time ago."

The characters: We meet a rag-tag group of twelve year-olds. Misfits all, they reminded me...

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I think I wanted to like this book more than I actually did due to the fact that I had heard so many intriguing things about it. This is a solid first go from CJ Tudor and it was a fun, light read for me but not so much of a thriller like the pre-release reviews would have us believe.



The good. Tudor did a good job with the back and forth timeline of the novel. It is hard to get that right but, with a few exceptions of where the linearity got a little muddy, she did well transporting us from 1986 to 2016 and back again. The world building was lovely and believable especially the fair (some imagery that I won't forget there), and the woods.



The not so good. The characters reminded...

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I received this advanced copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I could not put this book down! This book grabs you from the very disturbing beginning and has you begging to know more. You follow a group of friends who endure a horrific event in their childhood and witness how it affects them in adulthood. This debut is chalked-full (pun intended) of the choices we make and the consequences that follow. There are several twists throughout that build to one very chilling ending. As I was reading I was on the fence between a four or five star rating but the ending was extremely satisfying. I really enjoyed the pace and writing style of this new author and I look forward to...

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Wow!  From beginning to end the reader is kept in suspense!  You won't want to put this book down!  Starting with the death of a young girl, the whole town is part of the mystery.  I bet you won't see the end coming!
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Fabulous book.  Thoroughly loved.  Highly recommend!
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Wasn’t sure what to expect from this new author.  Pleasantly surprised, good character analysis, and suspense.  Gory in some areas so read those parts fast.  A wonderful debut from a talented writer.
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It was summer in England and a group of twelve year olds had it to themselves. Their parents worked and anyhow, who really watched kids in 1986? They spent the days playing in the woods or on the playground, riding their bikes and trying to impress each other. Each has his own issues. Eddie's mother has just opened the first abortion clinic in town and their family is getting threats. Fat Gov is the leader as he is the most confident; his parents run the local pub. Hoppo's mother was the local cleaning woman. Metal Mickey had an obnoxious older brother who loved to make the gang's life miserable. Nicky was the only girl; her father was the preacher and he had a group...

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Great writer. Interesting plot and suspenseful.  Kept me guessing until the end. Not as scary and nightmare inducing as mentioned in review but still a good book
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Here is my review from the Houston Chronicle: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/gray-matters/article/When-a-child-s-game-takes-a-sinister-turn-12477161.php
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Creepy meets coming-of-age in this phenomenal debut by CJ Tudor. While this book was absolutely not what I expected going in, I was pleasantly surprised and am genuinely sad that it's over which, to me, is the mark of a great piece of writing.

In 1986, Eddie and his rag-tag gang stumble upon a grisly murder, led to the scene by what was formerly a way of sending secret messages to one another. Thirty years later, the chalk men that they used to draw resurface, leading Ed to question everything that he has so far believed to be true about the crime and the events that preceded it. As he delves further in, however, it becomes abundantly clear that nothing is quite what it seems.

While...

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