Publisher: Michael Joseph (Penguin)
Publication date: January 2018
Yes, I appreciate this one’s not published for aaages but I really, really need to talk about it because: 1) it’s AWESOME and 2) I’m pressing the pause button for an extended blog break – a separate post that also features a few exceptional reads of 2017 so far, and this title is included!…
What. A. Stunner.
The Chalk Man is highly compelling, the ordeals utterly convincing, and its delivery so captivating I was going nowhere until I had drained the words from every page.
With subtle undertones of Stand by Me, a series of unfortunate events tests the friendship of a gaggle of kids living their 1980s childhood to the max. Not quite understanding how the world works exactly, but knowing that sometimes parts of it get broken, and yet it keeps on turning.
The Chalk Man has all the hallmarks of an accomplished thriller. Combine the appearance of seemingly harmless juvenile ‘Chalk Man’ drawings, a tragic accident, a gruesome discovery in the woods, and a secret so well disguised that it left me beaming from ear-to-ear.
The story creeps seamlessly between the alternating dual timeline of 2016 and 1986. Readers who may remember this era (myself included) will appreciate the nostalgic realism and there’s some bang on dialogue exchanges injected into the plot.
As the forty-something narrator reflects, he also investigates the implications of fresh doomed doodles and it becomes clear that although certain circumstances from their youth have affected the characters’ futures differently, something has given permission for grave consequences to raise its ugly head.
This is undeniably one of the best thrillers I have read this year and I would urge you to keep your eyes peeled for it – in fact, I insist! It’s a colossal and attention-grabbing book that will be arriving at a bookshop NEAR YOU in January 2018.
It’s awesome, and then some.
(My thanks to the publisher for providing an unexpected early copy of this title for which I’m incredibly grateful and it’s my pleasure to provide this review.)
(Courtesy of Amazon UK)
THE book of 2018. The Chalk Man is coming . . .
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.
(Courtesy of Amazon UK)
C. J. TUDOR lives in Nottingham, England with her partner and three-year-old daughter. Over the years she has worked as a copywriter, television presenter, voice over and dog-walker. She is now thrilled to be able to write full-time, and doesn’t miss chasing wet dogs through muddy fields all that much. THE CHALK MAN is her first novel.