The Chalk Man by C. J. TudorThe Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor

The Chalk Man

byC. J. Tudor

Paperback | January 9, 2018

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A riveting and brilliantly plotted psychological suspense, this razor-sharp debut will keep readers guessing right up to the shocking ending.

In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy little 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 each other as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing will ever be 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 his other friends got the same messages, 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.
    
Expertly alternating between flashbacks and the present day, The Chalk Man is the very best kind of suspense novel, one where every character is wonderfully fleshed out and compelling, where every mystery has a satisfying payoff, and where the twists will shock even the savviest reader.
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, voiceover actor 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 ...
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Title:The Chalk ManFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.18 × 6.25 × 0.74 inPublished:January 9, 2018Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:038569007X

ISBN - 13:9780385690072

Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from no I was completely lost. No joke
Date published: 2018-01-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from yes I quite liked this. it gives interesting perspectives
Date published: 2018-01-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Debut?? Mystery/thriller is a genre I rarely venture into. I generally find a lot of these stories predictable and I want the book to be smarter than me if I'm spending my hard earned money on it. I am pleased to say that this book was worth my money! It had a different premise than a lot of the books I'm seeing in this category lately, which is refreshing and the reason I took a chance on it. This was really well written; I would never have guessed this to be a debut novel! A great story with great characters, it maybe came together at the end a little too nicely, but the rest of the story makes up for it.
Date published: 2018-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from You won't be able to put it down... Oh, where to start! Well, here's the thing - I started reading C.J. Tudor's debut novel The Chalk Man in my jammies on a snowy day during Christmas week. And while starting was not an issue, stopping was. I couldn't put the book down!!! Addictive, page turning and so very, very good....... 1986. Twelve year old Ed and his four friends have a great, way of communicating with each other. They chalk little stick figures at the end of their driveways and throughout their small village. It's a 'secret' way to communicate with each other. But when a set of chalk directions leads to a body, it's clear that someone else knows their secret. 2016. Ed still lives in the same house he grew up in, teaches at the school he attended and drinks a little too much. When a chalk man drawing arrives in his mailbox, he knows that the past is not finished with him...... Tudor's use of the past and present narrative in alternating chapters is soooo effective. She ends each chapter with a cliffhanger or a lovely bit of foreshadowing. You know that don't go into the basement scene in movies? Yeah, like that. This and her plotting is what kept me tucked into my reading chair for the day. There's a mystery at the heart of the book - who is the killer? But, there's so much to the plot than just that question. Tudor provides lot of alternatives for the whodunit. There's a dark undertone running through the town. Everyone seems to have secrets. "I knew it was wrong but, like I said, everyone has secrets, things they know they shouldn't do but do anyway. Mine was taking stuff - collecting things. The crappy thing was, it was only when I tried to take something back that I really screwed up." Oh, does Tudor ever have that 'twisty, turny' plot thing nailed down! The narrative took lots of unexpected, unpredictable directions. "Never assume. Question everything. Always look beyond the obvious." The Chalk Man was so 'readable'! I loved it! If you're a fan of Stranger Things, Stand By Me and suspense reads, you'll love The Chalk Man. This book is so darn good, it's hard to believe it's a debut - I can't wait to see what Tudor writes next!
Date published: 2018-01-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An excellent debut mystery! I've never read a Stephen King book before - okay like half of The Gunslinger, but I was confused the entire time - but I feel like this book would have very similar vibes. The Chalk Man takes place in a small village in England, is centered around a group of boys on the verge of adolescence, and carries an unnerving atmosphere throughout the course of the story. The chapters flip back and forth between 1986 and 2016, when the narrator Eddie is twelve and forty-two, respectively, and constantly has the feeling that you can't ever trust what you're reading on the page. The writing is excellent, layering several subplots together seamlessly. If you're looking for a quieter mystery novel, with a heavy undercurrent of tension and unreliability, then The Chalk Man will fit that bill perfectly. I look forward to seeing what C. J. Tudor releases next, because this debut novel was excellent.
Date published: 2018-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Stunning Debut From the opening lines of The Chalk Man I was transfixed. This book took hold of me and refused to let go. I still have the shivers after finishing it! As pre-teens Eddie Adams and his friends, Fat Gav, Metal Mickey, Hoppo and Nicky live a fairly idyllic life in a small English village. One Saturday afternoon they meet at the local fairground and a startling incident that occurs there creates a foreshadowing of the events to come. Soon after they are inspired to begin leaving coded messages to each other in the form of a stick man. Each member of the group is assigned a specific colour of chalk, so it's clear who left the code. However, their simple game has far reaching consequences and one of the messages leads them down a path of horror none of them expected. Eddie narrates this fantastic story, which alternates between two time periods, 1986 and 2016. The characters are all extremely well-developed and exceptionally portrayed with intensely believable actions and interactions. I felt that I was able to clearly understand their motivations, especially the narrator. This is a novel to immerse yourself in, know as little as possible before starting and read without interruption. Just when I found myself seduced by the nostalgic, dreamy atmosphere, I was jolted straight out of my lull with another surprise. Tudor doesn't hold back with the shocks. She supplies enough twists to keep even the most astute suspense thriller reader satisfied. The Chalk Man is beautiful, haunting and engrossing. An absolutely stunning debut.
Date published: 2018-01-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Best Thriller of 2018? Maybe This book is getting enthusiastic praise and being highly recommended by many as having the potential to be the 'Best Thriller of 2018'. You know it's a good read when it's being claimed to be the 'Best' in a year that hasn't even happened yet. First, I'm going to discuss what I liked and what I felt was done well in regards to this novel. It was well written, it flowed, it was suitably creepy, and the story kept the mysterious intrigue throughout. I, personally, didn't think anything was too predictable and I enjoy that in a thriller. Also, the characters! Talk about a group of flawed, creepy (overall theme of the novel), and unreliable individuals. None of them were likeable (in my perspective at least) and that also makes it harder to identify the true criminals/suspects. When reading these type of novels, I'm almost always able to eliminate the likeable characters as being part of the crimes which then can aid in predicting the story's outcome. Now, I can't say there was anything that I disliked about this novel but I can say that it wasn't a thriller that I absolutely loved. In all honesty, I do enjoy thrillers but I rarely can get to the point of a five star rating for them. To me, it had a similar reading experience to when I read, "Girl on the Train" or "A Stranger in the House". Those are widely popular novels so if you enjoy those novels, there is a good chance that this one will also appeal to you. I can definitely say that this was an outstanding debut novel for an author though. The writing was excellent, the plot was a new idea in the thriller genre, and the way the novel was carried through was well thought out. I have no doubt that C.J. Tudor will have many more successful titles published in the future. ***Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me an advanced reader's copy in exchange for an honest review***
Date published: 2017-12-20

Editorial Reviews

"I haven't had a sleepless night due to a book for a long time. The Chalk Man changed that." —Fiona Barton, New York Times bestselling author of The Widow"A swift, cleverly plotted debut novel that ably captures the insular, slightly sinister feel of a small village." —Kirkus Reviews"[Tudor's] storytelling prowess is undeniable." —Publishers Weekly"What a great book. A twisty thriller and downright creepy ending. 5 stars." —Sarah Pinborough, New York Times bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes"C.J. Tudor knows the twelve-year-old who still lives in all of us, that kid who chills himself to the bone with an intuition of what lurks in the woods, or in his own closet. The Chalk Man walks the haunted bridge between then and now—between sheer childhood terrors and a true crime so grisly and personal it's cold hand never leaves the back of your neck." —Tim Johnston, New York Times Bestselling author of Descent"CJ Tudor has written an utterly original novel—a thriller in which the suspense comes not simply from what happens, but from that dark place within the human mind from which all the greatest mysteries and terrors emerge. This one will hold you in its grip to the last page." —Joyce Maynard, New York Times bestselling author of Under the Influence and To Die For"A frenetic ride that's deep and alluring, oozing with suspense. A rollicking good time." —Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The 14th Colony "The Chalk Man is an intricate and surprising book that will reward the reader who approaches it with the attention it deserves." —Thomas Perry, New York Times bestselling author of The Old Man"Tense, skillful storytelling." —Ali Land, internationally bestselling author of Good Me Bad Me       "Kept me up until five in the morning. Wonderfully written. I loved it!" —Kimberley Chambers, bestselling author of Backstabber and The Wronged "CJ Tudor's The Chalk Man is a stunning debut, a riveting thriller about the powerful grip of the past and the unbreakable bonds of childhood friendship. The ending of this smasher will completely throw you for a loop. Don't miss a word of it!" —David Bell, bestselling author of Bring Her Home and Somebody I Used to Know"Utterly hypnotic. The Chalk Man is a dream novel, a book of nightmares: haunted and haunting, shot through with shadow and light—a story to quicken the pulse and freeze the blood. A dark star is born." —A. J. Finn, author of The Woman in the Window"It's been a while since I've read such an impressive debut. The pace was perfectly judged, the characters superbly drawn and there's a creeping sense of unease that starts with the prologue and grows throughout the book. And then that ending! It feels so fresh and deserves to be a huge success." —James Oswald, bestselling author of the Inspector McLean series"What an amazing debut! Such an ingenious, original idea. I was engrossed from the very first page. I loved how the 1986 and present day storylines weaved so skillfully together to create that unforgettable and unexpected ending. Compelling, taut and so very, very chilling. This book will haunt you!" —Claire Douglas, bestselling author of Last Seen Alive"A cleverly constructed, artfully told tale of secrets, lies and warped passions—featuring a troubled protagonist, a terrible murder that wasn't what it seemed to be and a raging monster at the heart of it all." —John Verdon, internationally bestselling author of Think of a Number and the Nero Award-winning Peter Pan Must Die"Impossible to put down, cleverly constructed and executed." —Ragnar Jonasson, author of the bestselling Dark Iceland series