Eeeeeek! I am SO friggin excited to finally be able to share my review of C.J. Tudor’s THE CHALK MAN – I’ve also reviewed this on Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast, so be sure to keep a look out, or ear… for that! Thanks so much to Jenny Platt and Michael Joseph / Penguin Random House UK for the invite on the blog tour and a proof of this AWESOME book! How ’bout we find out a little about the author and this book before I share my review!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C. J. Tudor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham, where she still lives with her partner and young daughter. Her love of writing, especially the dark and macabre, started young. When her peers were reading Judy Blume, she was devouring Stephen King and James Herbert.
Over the years she has had a variety of jobs, including trainee reporter, waitress, radio scriptwriter, shop assistant, voiceover artist, television presenter, copywriter and now author.
The Chalk Man is her first novel.
Twitter ~ @cjtudor
ABOUT THE BOOK
You can feel it in the woods, in the school and in the playground; you can feel it in the houses and at the fairground. You can feel it in most places in the small town of Anderbury . . . the fear that something or someone is watching you.
It began back in 1986, at the fair, on the day of the accident. That was when twelve-year-old Eddie met Mr Halloran – the Chalk Man.
He gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages for his friends and it was fun, until the chalk men led them to a body.
Thirty years later, Ed believes the past is far behind him, until an envelope slips through the letterbox. It contains a stick of chalk, and a drawing of a figure.
Is history going to repeat itself?
Was it ever really over?
Will this game only end in the same way?
My Rating: 5/5
OMFG What-A-Book! I finished this DEBUT…yes…DEBUT novel weeks ago and I am still soooo excited about it. 🤗 There are just NO WORDS to describe the absolute brilliance captured on these pages…but I’ll give it a go!
Set in a town called Anderbury and jumping between 1986 and 2016 the reader delves into the minds of a group of misfits, where secrets, betrayal, the past, the facing of consequences and how our actions shape our future are just a few of the themes readers face.
From the start, I immediately thought of the tv show The Wonder Years or the film Stand By Me as this is the vibe the narrative has – no matter how unreliable it may be at times! Plot-wise …this book has #AllTheBooms! 😱 A bloody riveting #killerhook and a ❄️chilling❄️ prologue which still gives me shivers…well that was it…NOTHING was getting done in my house until I finished this book! The way the chapters ended, I just had to keep reading ONE more until the end, and then I was sad it was over! 😢
Character-wise, we are delivered a plethora of superb individuals who drive this story masterfully! I’m am so afraid of unintentionally giving something away, so I’ll just touch on a few to give you a feel. Eddie Adams is the narrator – and we pretty much learn everything we need to know 🤔 (ahem) from him. He is a bit of a hoarder and a tea leaf but definitely very likeable. He goes through quite a bit in his childhood and this shapes who he is and what happens. He also likes his drink, a coping mechanism of sorts but it doesn’t stop him from functioning on a day to day basis.
Mr Halloran – another GREAT character. He’s albino, new to the area and a teacher (1986) The students have given him a nickname (The Chalk Man) and he shares a secret with Eddie which he and his gang later start to use – see the blurb 😉. I know I am being evasive, but there is just so much you need to experience for yourself to capture the essence of this book. Despite his flaws, Mr Halloran was quite a likeable character, even at the times he shouldn’t have been!
Chloe is Eddie’s lodger and is a moody one! Right from the start you wonder where she fits in. What an attitude on this girl – where does the anger come from? You’ll have to read the book to find out!
This book just has EVERYTHING in it! I loved every aspect of it and when it all comes together…WTAF?! Brilliant, chilling, eery, creepy – you just get totally sucked in. I’ve said this to a few people, it’s going to take one hell of a book to knock this off the #TopDebut pedestal I have placed The Chalk Man on. I also wonder how CJ Tudor is going to top this book…and I’ll tell you what, I am eagerly awaiting what she has coming up next!
In case it isn’t obvious, I ab-so-friggin-lutely recommend this book! Crime fiction which borders on horror, that gets under your skin and sends tingles down your spine – I’m not sure I will ever be able to look at a chalk figure again without thinking of this book and shivering! A bloody #TopDebut – seriously, you NEED to read this book! Go! Go! Go!