ARC Review: The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

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Title: The Chalk Man
Author: C.J. Tudor
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication Date: January 9, 2018
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown and thinks he’s put his past behind him, but then he gets a letter in the mail containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank–until one of them turns up dead. That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.

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When a book stays with you long after you have read it, you know it is one that has merit. The Chalk Man is a dark thriller that has quite a few intriguing characters that the reader will instantly relate to. Told through a dual timeline, the story is one that will keep you guessing right to the end.

There is something about a great thriller that I find absolutely exciting. However, the spine-chilling books aren’t typically ones that I gravitate towards, until I picked up The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor. The opening of the book is written in such a shocking and intriguing way that I was immediately lured into a book that is totally out of my comfort zone.

The aspect that I enjoyed the most about The Chalk Man is the cast of characters that Tudor has created. Something about these boys from the 1980s riding bikes all over town instantly reminded me of the kids from the TV show Stranger Things. I love how realistic and interesting the boys are, right down to their nicknames, such as Fat Gav and Metal Mickey.

Written in alternating time periods, the plot flows seamlessly from 1986 to 2016. Told from Eddie’s point of view, the story unfolds through his eyes as both a preteen and an adult. Tudor slowly adds details from each time period that connect and lead to a greater understanding of the events that occurred when the boys were younger. This style is not always easy to pull off and it works really well in this novel.

This is one thriller that I highly recommend to fans of the genre. The writing is mesmerizing and the characters are so fantastic. The Chalk Man will definitely have you wondering what happened from beginning to end.

15 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

  1. Sabrina says:

    I have been seeing this book around a lot lately. It sounds like such a cool and interesting story. Adding it to my list right now!

  2. Stephanie 📚🐰 (@bookfever11) says:

    One of my 2018 goals is reading more thrillers and after reading this review I am a 100% sure that I want to read The Chalk Man. If I could buy it right away I would but I’m trying to save up money so I’ll have to wait for a little while. But I WILL buy it this year and read it for sure!

  3. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    Great review! It does sound like an amazing story with great characters to boot. It’s not always easy to master different time periods and making them work, but I’m glad the author managed that here. Interesting kids on bikes, riding around town and having adventures does sound like a pretty cool picture.
    I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, even if it is a bit out of your comfort zone 🙂

  4. Lydia Tewkesbury says:

    Love the creepy concept! I’m the same as you, thrillers aren’t the genre I would immediately reach for, but there really is nothing better than a great one. Sometimes it’s fun to read something that leaves you completely unsettled for days afterwards.

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