The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor

The Chalk Man

C. J. Tudor

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.

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“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

An assured debut that alternates between 1986 and 2016 with unpredictable twists. The Chalk Man fits well with other stories about troubled childhoods such as Stephen King’s novella ‘Stand by Me’… Tudor never misses a beat in showing each character as both a child and an adult while also exploring the foreboding environs of a small town.” - Associated Press

A riveting and relentlessly compelling psychological suspense debut that weaves a mystery about a childhood game gone dangerously awry, and 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 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.
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.

Advance Galley Reviews

Not my favorite book ever. I'm not a fan of skipping back and forth through the timeline. Other than that it wasn't bad, though.

I enjoyed reading The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor. With the author choosing to toggle between the past and the present, I was always kept on my toes. I still have some questions about what happened and that makes for a great read. A mystery that had me staying up late every night.

CHALK MAN was such good mystery. It was a bit slow at times making it hard to hold my interest but in the end I was so happy I stuck it out and kept reading. I think part of my problem was I didn't feel connected to the characters. Overall CHALK MAN plot twist was a interesting one and I didn't 100% see it coming. Would I recommend it to my mystery thriller fans: Yes I think I would, it had some really good developments just a bit slower than most mystery - thriller - suspense books that I've read in the past.

This book was a creepy and chilling thrill ride. I enjoyed the twists, turns, and flashbacks. The characters were all unreliable, and it kept me guessing the whole time! I definitely want to read more from this author!

This book got lots of great reviews, but unfortunately I had a hard time getting into it. I read to about 30% and quit. The characters are definitely what stood out the most, but the story was weird and confusing to me, and I had a hard time staying engaged. Maybe I'll pick it up again at some point.

CJ Tudor’s “The Chalk Man” was an exciting thriller reminiscent of Netflix’s hit “Stranger Things.” It follows the lives of a groups of friends bouncing between two timelines focused on their childhoods and their current lives. It was an excellent debut from Tudor and I highly recommend it.

The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor was truly an edge-of-the-seat thriller. The revelations kept popping right up to the last page. The author kept us peeling layer after layer. There was no respite at all. Some of the layers were so closely entwined that it was hard to tell where one ended and another began. The story is written mostly in the first person past tense of Eddie in 1986 and present tense point of view in 2016. The two timelines are presented in alternate chapters. The plot of the story is revealed very slowly. The disclosure itself comes so slowly that you might almost miss its significance if you aren’t paying attention. Halfway through the book, I found myself still gingerly feeling my way through, wondering who was the girl whose body had been found, why the religious good didn’t seem so, and why the godless, denounced as evil by the religious, seemed to fumble on. Were the good completely good, and the bad completely bad? For the child, Eddie, it is all confusing. His mother’s clinic conducts abortions, which are denounced by the anti-abortionists, but the protestors, speaking on the side of the good, are violent and vicious. Eddie is a complicated character. As a child, he likes to collect things worth collecting and things that he thinks no one will miss. A habit he takes into adulthood. He has a lopsided worldview that does make sense and his humour is subtle but strong. Mr Halloran, nicknamed Mr Chalkman by the kids at school, is Eddie’s bogeyman. He is also his English teacher. Being an albino, Mr Halloran’s appearance causes people to look at him strangely. For a debut, this one is straight-out fabulous. My mind is still spinning. I can’t wait for her next one. Read the full and detailed review at

This book was fabulous! I loved how everything is connected by a few things that happened when they were children. Eddie and his friends had what was starting to be a great summer together when one of the fair rides breaks pieces go flying everywhere. There is a beautiful girl standing in front of Eddie and one the pieces hits and slices a piece of her face right off. This is the start of a sequence of events that will change all of their lives forever. Could not get this book read fast enough..

An enjoyable mystery mixed with some 80's nostalgia. It held my interest throughout and i did not foresee a few of the twists. Highly recommended for mystery fans!

I enjoyed unravelling the mysteries contained within The Chalk Man. The book is well written and the author quickly engages the reader. The alternation between 1986 and 2016 is used skillfully in moving the story along. Although I knew fairly quickly what to expect at the end, I was still thoroughly engaged as the other mysteries were solved. One of the weaknesses of the story was the rape scene which seemed unnecessarily graphic given that it was not actually needed to move the story forward and the character that was subjected to it seemed to get over it unrealistically quickly. Another weakness was the characterization of the villain. He is portrayed with one note: the quintessential hypocritical man of faith. Of course he protests against the new abortion clinic but then, when his reputation is on the line, he wants the teen he impregnates to make use of it. The members of his church who protest with him are portrayed with the same brush of hypocrisy; claiming to love while screaming with hate. I began to feel that the author was engaging in some preaching of her own. Fortunately, these weaknesses do not impact the overall story and I found The Chalk Man well worth the read.

This was quite a fun, mysterious thriller. The Chalk Man Man switches back and forth between 1986 and 2016. It centers on Eddie Adams and his friends and a murder that took place when they were 12. This book had a great creepy vibe. I don't always enjoy books that jump around between time periods or characters since they can sometimes be hard to follow, but this book did it perfectly. It was exciting to find out what secrets people were hiding or what things they might be guilty of. It was fun trying to figure out who done it or in this books case who done what. This was quite an enjoyable read and worth checking out!

What a fabulous read. I picked it up and was caught up in the story immediately. Of course I’d just finished the second season of Stranger Things and definitely felt a connection between this story and that show and I loved that! Although there’s not a paranormal element here, there is just that spooky vibe and of course the friends who seem to court danger and mayhem. The chalk drawings and the story surrounding them and the dead people was fascinating and kept me guessing all the way through. I love when I can be completely fooled as I was in this book. And of course there might be a twist and a really delicious one too. This was just a brilliantly written book, peopled by very well written characters and a well defined place. I could see the setting and story in my mind and I loved that. I highly recommend this book to lovers of psychological suspense that is brilliantly written, with characters that will stay with you for a very long time. This is definitely my new favorite in the genre.

4 1/2 Stars A mix of 80s nostalgia and a contemporary thriller with enough twists and turns to make your head spin. I was absolutely mesmerized from the first page and raced through the book in two sittings. And that ending! I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days! I can’t wait to see what C.J. Tudor comes out with next.

3.75 stars! Why not the full 4, because for some reason I dislike when books jump back and forth between time periods. Especially, when they end each section on suspense or cliffhanger- which this book does a lot. Now the actual story and characters were amazingly disturbing. Reader beware: it is not only about the dead body, everyone has a secret and a twist that makes you never want to trust people again. I don't need no friends if they are like that. Like Eddie, the narrator of the story is pleasant enough while telling of his past and figuring out what is going on in the present. Likable...until the very last sentence of the damn book. Then you are just like... Eddie, you do you boo, just stay the F away from me.

Was unable to read this book due to download issues. Loved the excerpt, and I've already put the book on hold at the library.

This is one of the best things I can say about a book: I would like to read this one again, and I probably will. I'm not someone who re-reads books often, unless they're classics or part of a much beloved series... so that's saying something. I also read this one in one sitting, and had to remind myself to slow down a little bit to get full enjoyment out of it. I just really wanted to know what was going on! It's been a couple of days since I've finished, and the ending is still haunting me at random moments. This book is told using two time periods, 2016 and 1986. In 2016, Ed is a school teacher in his early 40's, unmarried and living with a young, intriguing roommate in his old childhood home. He drinks a bit too much and doesn't have a lot going on in his life... until he receives a mysterious letter that sends him right back to tragic events that happened when he was a boy. In 1986, he was known as Eddie... just another twelve year old riding bikes with his friends, looking for something to keep themselves occupied. He was only twelve when life changed forever... it was that summer he saw tragedy for the first time, and it was also the summer of the chalk men. They're little figures the group draws to communicate secretly with each other. It all starts innocently enough, but eventually they seem to be appearing on their own... I was super intrigued by the premise of this book and was determined to get an advanced copy. I'm so glad I did! There are a few moments that made me a little sick to my stomach, and more moments that creeped me out out a bit. This is an undoubtedly well-written and gripping story that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys mysteries that are a little on the dark side. I can't go too deep into the plot on this review, because I don't want to give any spoilers. If the blurb interests you, pick this one up. I don't think you'll regret it. The characters are really memorable and enjoyable, and the whole book is hard to put down.

Well written, and I liked the premise...very creepy. I also loved the dual timeline and felt like CJ Tudor distinguished between the adult and child voice well. It was nice to see the unreliable drunken narrator be a man this time, but I'm kind of tired of that trope in general. The plot was well done, but felt kind of predictable, although there were delightful little unforeseen twists along the way.

SO, I am not a fan of 80s movies, I can admit…and this had 80s nostalgia written all over it. I did, however go into this optimistic that it would NOT be like IT, Stranger Things, Stand by Me…or anything similar. Well, from the beginning, I got the IT vibe having recently watched the remake, but I continued as the story did intrigue me. Right from the beginning, there was a tragedy. A mystery to be unfolded. This is what drew me in so fast. What happened at the fair? Who is the mysterious teacher? What is the deal with the white chalk? What did they find? Who is watching? Who did it? Where do we go from here? All of the questions that popped up into my head as I read this novel. The chalk Man, by C.J. Tudor alternates between the year 1986 and the year 2016. . This story follows the lives of Eddie (the main character) and his friends Fat Gav, Metal Mickey, Hoppo and Nicky. The characters of this novel were very well developed. I had a vested interest in each of them and that is why I continued to read. This book tests the boundaries of friendship through tragedy, secrets, trust...etc., all though way from childhood into adulthood. There was an element of surprise with this novel. So many different angles and twists that it made it hard to predict. Moments of horror, sadness, humor…just so many different elements that for me makes this a 3.5/4 star novel. I have to say I am very glad this book was not sci-fi-ish like most of the 80s novels and movies I mentioned above. It was a good ol' mystery which made it more enjoyable for me. There were some fresh aspects of this book and I love the writing style of C.J. Tudor. It was easy to read and follow. Was I a fan of the ending? I honest think I was okay with how it ended. It is hard to deliver a mind blowing ending. My mind was not blown but I am satisfied with this book from beginning to end. Very well written. I look forward to the next novel by C.J. Tudor.

Thanks to the First to Read program for supplying a copy of The Chalk Man in exchange for an honest review. It’s hard to believe The Chalk Man is a debut novel. It’s accomplished and well-written not to mention rife with suspense and some big surprises. The story follows a group of friends in 1986 and 2016. In 1986, the friends enjoy riding their bikes and just hanging out together but they also find themselves avoiding (not always successfully) some neighborhood bullies. After one of the friends receives a bucket of chalks for his birthday, they start to leave coded messages for each other on their sidewalks. Each friend is given a color so they know who left the messages. Then one day, mystery chalk drawings appear - none of the friends drew them - that lead them to the dismembered body of a young woman in the woods. Eddie, the main character in both 1986 and 2016, receives an anonymous letter in 2016 that contains a chalk figure drawing and a small piece of chalk. Instantly, he is slammed back into the past to the year that everything changed forever and the friends lost their innocence. Not long after he receives the unsettling letter, one of his old friends who had moved away comes back to town and brings more trouble and bad memories with him. His reappearance will set in motion more tragedy. The Chalk Man is fast-paced, dark and twisted. It’s not quite the book I thought it would be but I still enjoyed the ride. The main characters are well-drawn and real - no cardboard cutout characters here. It’s a short book at just under 300 pages but Tudor manages to pack a lot into her story. There are a lot of disturbing topics touched on in the book: abuse, violent bullying, abortion and Alzheimer’s but the mysteries are at the heart of the story. It also has an ending with a huge creep-out factor that left me more than just a little weirded out to say the least. While not perfect, The Chalk Man has a lot to offer in terms of character development, suspense and plot. I look forward to reading more by Tudor in the future.

I'll start by saying that The Chalk Man is a good book and written very well. Yet, I'm still struggling to decide how much I enjoyed it. The fact of the matter is, this is a really uncomfortable book. I haven't been this uncomfortable since reading Hater by David Moody. I am a fan of horror fiction. I've read books with unbelievably disturbing content and imagery. That said, The Chalk Man was full of things that made me cringe and quite frankly (to my surprise) scared me quite a bit! I think a contributing factor is the child narrator. Half of this book is written from the perspective of a 12-year-old boy. I love young narrators in horror because they seem to nudge at a reader's inner child and say, "Hey, remember what it was like to be afraid of this?" Those irrational fears of youth bubble back to the surface and the dark seems darker and every noise seems more out of place. I have to applaud CJ Tudor, who wrote The Chalk Man so well that I was sure the author was a man. We see through the eyes of the Protagonist's 12-year-old self and 42-year-old self and I never doubted the character. Eddie was so real and flawed and three dimensional that I could have easily been convinced his part in the novel was autobiographical. Lastly, there are books that you desperately try to figure out. You know a twist is coming and as readers, we approach those books like a challenge. If we figure out the plot twist before it is revealed, we win. On the other hand, there are books that just need to happen. That are so engrossing and emotionally driven that to try to outsmart them would be a shame. The Chalk Man is an example of the latter. If you love a good mystery that unsettles you as much as it intrigues you, The Chalk Man needs to be sitting on your shelf.

I love thrillers so I was very excited when I was picked by First to Read to write a review of The Chalk Man. This book did not disappoint! The story switches back and forth from when the main characters were young and the chalk man game was invented, to them as adults dealing with the aftermath of what they occurred when they were young. Sometimes this chronological back and forth technique can be confusing but not in The Chalk Man. The characters are well developed and the story is compelling. If you want a quick moving thriller this is the book for you.

This was a really well paced and compelling read. It tells the story of Eddie, a 42 year old English teacher who receives a disturbing letter which takes him back to the summer of 1986 and the horrible events that happened. What I liked here was the foreshadowing. The author drops hints throughout the narrative that make the plot really intriguing and ensure you keep turning those pages. The character of Eddie is quite unpleasant - a hoarder with a bit of an eye for younger women - he is nonetheless fascinating and a great protagonist to lead us through the twists and turns. I was somewhat let down by the mundane conclusion to the plot and felt that a lot more could have been done with the chalk drawings. However, I really liked the inclusion of Eddie's nightmares and the Gothic feelings they inspired. All in all, this was a good read - nothing earth shattering in terms of crime narratives, but with some interesting inclusions that show glimpses of true skill. I received a free copy of this book from First to Read in exchange for a fair and honest review.

If you’re in the mood for a highly suspenseful, un-put-downable thriller then The Chalk Man just might be for you! It was creepy and twisted and left me guessing until the end.

I had read a lot of positive hype about this book prior to reading it, and The Chalk Man definitely lives up to it! I've noticed that a lot of books lately have been using a dual timeline narrative structure, but it is used to good effect in this case. Lots of tension, some Stranger Things/Stephen King vibes, and wonderful writing all add up to a great debut novel.

I can honestly say The Chalk Man has easily become one of my favorite books. C.J. Tudor does an amazing job keeping you in the mind of the protagonist Ed/Eddie while he ventures between his 12 year old and 42 year old self. When you think you know what's going to happen next, Tudor changes course and surprises you every time. A must read for anyone who enjoys thriller/mystery!

Thanks to Penguin Random House First to Read for an advance copy. I've been reading a slew of thrillers lately, some good....some not so good. BUT.....The Chalk Man is definitely one of my favorite thrillers of the year. I love the premise - taking the innocent communication system of children and making it into something more diabolical and sinister. I adored the characters, and most of them were fairly well developed. I loved the small town setting where everyone knows everyone else, which leads to all sorts of uncomfortableness as you try to figure out who is committing horrible crimes. I also enjoyed the pace of the book - I could not stop reading once I started. I like that the author wrapped up all the loose ends, but I didn't feel completely satisfied by the explanations for some of the smaller loose ends (and some left my a bit confused). Overall, this is a great winter read if you want something to add a little adventure to your days!

A free e-book from Penguin First to Read in exchange of an honest review. BAM BAM BAM Damn…The opening, the first chapter… You are hit with a lot very quickly when you start this story. Very gruesome things so the squeamish beware. I absolutely loved the way this book started. Yes, it does drop off and becomes a more mellow mystery after the opening but the horror that was inspired in the start remained with you and hooked you to see what the hell happened. Told in past and present we follow a group of friends from Eddie’s perspective. The little group of misfits ride around on their bikes, hang out around town and in the forest. A gift of chalk and an inspiring talk with a teacher leads to secret messages being left, a secret code of chalk men to say who was calling and where they were going. A fun little prank leads to very real dead and dismembered body in the woods. Though nothing is the same after finding the body Eddie was not expecting the chalk man to show up again, especially not decades later. Each friend receives a note with the ominous drawing and the solved mystery is reopened for the friends, especially when one of them turns up dead. Reading this story, especially after the huge revival hype around It by Stephen King, all I could think of was “is this set in Derry? Is chalk man a euphemism for creepy ass clown?” We have a group of misfit boys and one tomboy girl that has an abusive father. The similarities continue from there. There are the bad kids in town that molest and terrorize everyone else. Lots of unexplained deaths and creepy drawings and visions. Where It relied on supernatural though there was nothing supernatural in this story. The events in this story could actually happen. Everything that happened was horrific. What made it even more horrible was the ending. That last little bit of extra the author puts in. So normal, so every day and yet…

As soon as I was able to read 'The Chalk Man', I raced through it, and especially so, to give recommendations in time for all my book friends to make their 'Book of The Month' picks. It wasn't hard to force me because as soon as I started reading, I was captivated by the tale of a group of young English boys (and girl), back in 1986, and then, their lives three decades later in 2016. The story centers around Eddie who is still trying to put a difficult past behind him, a past that involves the group finding a dismembered body in the woods. Cut to the present day, and the group of friends all get the same mysterious message in the mail, and one of them turns up dead. And what about the mysterious chalk figure code? *I actually found some amusement reading the story as I'm the same age as the protagonist Eddie, and being from England, found it fun to read little things like the kids going to spend their money at the corner shop (note: some lingo might get missed by some American readers). I personally found this novel to be one of a kind, and because I got to read it in 2017, it was actually one of my favorites of the year. Start your 2018 with it, and I expect this will be one of those books that will stay the course of books (and authors) that people will still be talking about at year's-end. I can't wait to see what C.J.Tudor writes next!

After reading several glowing reviews, I was really excited to read The Chalk Man. For some reason though, it just didn't click with me. I found the narrator to be obnoxious, and the rest of the characters didn't do much for me either. There are some decent twists and turns, and I thought the ending was pretty good. However, I mostly found the book a bit of a slog to get through.

In 1986, Eddie Adams is trying to live life like any other adolescent boy. Eddie and his friends are filling their summer vacation days with adventures and activities. The gang of friends decide to create a secret code for where to meet with chalk men drawn in colors corresponding to each kid. One day a mysterious set of white chalk men show up and lead the group of kids straight to a dismembered body. Who is responsible for this crime and who drew these chalk men? The Eddie of 2016 still lives in his childhood home, where he watched is father die and his mother leave him to explore a new life. He is actively trying to put his past behind him, but with the arrival of a letter containing a chalk man drawing the summer of 1986 comes flooding back in to his life. In order to make things right and finally put the past to rest Eddie must face his fears. Who really killed that girl in the woods 30 years ago? Who is responsible for these chalk men drawings? C.J. Tudor absolutely kills it with her debut novel THE CHALK MAN. Alternating timelines between 1986 and 2016 walk the reader through the mind of Eddie Adams and the crimes haunting his past. Eddie is a flawed narrator and his group of friends are no better. Tudor gives the reader a story that radiates 80's nostalgia with a gripping crime and fascinating cast of characters. In order to get to the bottom of the mysterious chalk men the reader must trust Eddie's meandering mind and unlock a chest of long held secrets. THE CHALK MAN is the perfect read for fans of crime fiction, thrillers, and 80's era nostalgic shows like Stranger Things.

4.5 stars Thank you to First-to-Read and Crown Publishing for this ARC. To publish Jan 9, 2018. This story switched between 1986 and 2016. Our protagonist, Eddie, and his group of friends, Micky, Gav, Hoppo and the lone girl, Nicky were inseparable. The 12 year olds biked to the playground, river and woods during the heat of the summer in 1986. Their personalities and family lives were very different, but their bond was strong. Until that day. The day they found another friend mutilated in the woods. In 2016 the death of Elise, the girl in the woods, still haunts Eddie. As the tangled story starts to unwind we see the actual involvement of each of the four friends, along with a teacher, a reverend, and the families of the four friends. This was a very good mystery. It kept you guessing at each twist and turn. However you needed to place the correct blame at each twist to guess the identity of the person to blame. This book worked well switching between time frames, more so than the abundance of current books using this format. Tudor is a new author for me, but one I will watch in the future.

**********Thank you First to Read for giving me the opportunity to review this novel.********* I have never read C.J. Tudor before and I have to say this is a pretty good book. The characters are well-developed, you learn a lot about each one of them and what makes them who they are. There are twists and turns and an ending I didn't see coming. Every character makes you think, is he/she the murderer? I could not figure out who it was until it was revealed. Of course it was the last person I thought it would be. This book has so many twists and turns, murder, suspense, and a little romance. This book is very smooth and easy to read, (minus a few typos in kindle version) as soon as one chapter ended, I was ready to start the next one. I would recommend to family and friends 18 and over. Thanks again First to Read Cherie'

I hate reviews with spoilers so you won't read any here. All you'll get is my humble opinion about the quality of this novel. Nice debut. This story alternates between 1986, when the narrator was a twelve year old kid and his adult life in 2016. Flashbacks can be tricky to pull off but Tudor manages to do it well. The author walks the fine line between straight up mystery and horror, but I enjoy a good horror so that was a plus for me. The Chalk Man also gives enough mystery to keep most readers guessing until the very end. Even when you think you know, you’re not sure, again a plus. A quick but throughly enjoyable read. I was chosen to read an advance copy of this book as part of the Penguin's First to Read program. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.

This was an okay book. For all that I heard about it before reading I expected to like it more. I did like babe dueling timelines and most of the plot was resolved. Though, there were a few things I wanted to know more about. The book really picked up at the end, and overall it was an entertaining thriller.

Back in 1986, Eddie and his friends were just kids who liked to goof off. They develop a secret code using chalk figures to send messages to one another. But when a chalk drawing leads them to a dead body, their lives are changed forever. Fast forward to 2016 when Eddie receives a chalk man drawing in the mail. After finding out others received the same drawing, Eddie figures it's a prank until one of his friends winds up dead. With his life potentially in danger, Eddie sets out to finally solving the mysteries of the past. Even though the idea of a group of friends having the the past come to haunt them as adults is not a new concept, the story still felt fresh and interesting. Eddie was a complex character who remained somewhat of a mystery throughout much of the book. I liked the alternating timelines and the fact there was more than one mystery to unveil. There were a few twists I didn't see coming and overall this was an enjoyable read. I definitely recommend if you are a fan of mysteries and suspense. Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy! I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.

The Chalk Man is a fantastic mystery that keeps you guessing. The story flips between time periods to tell a little of both mysteries- what happened in 1986 when Eddie and his friends found a dead body and what is happening to them now to cause the Chalk Man to leave them letters and chalk. This book is engaging and well-developed. The characters were pretty well developed. I enjoyed seeing how the children changed and saw/dealt with the consequences of their actions.

The Chalk Man is a page-turner that keeps the reader guessing as the novel bounces from 1986, when Eddie and his mates found a body in the woods, to 2016 when the main characters are in their early forties and still focused, to varying degrees, on the who, what, and the why of the events that occurred thirty years previous. The book is written in such a way that the reader does not simply move from the murder, when the characters were children, to its resolution. No, the author introduces multiple twists and turns, for example, when the children use chalk as a means of communicating with each other to another use of chalk figures as a means of signaling upcoming danger. All in all, this is an engaging book, a very good read!

Unfortunately not every book is a match for every reader. This book and I did not connect.

It’s hard to believe that The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor is a debut; it’s even harder to believe that it’s not considered horror. Though the book focuses primarily on a whodunnit sort of plot, it borrows heavily from my favorite genre. Certain elements of The Chalk Man are downright grisly, which is a welcoming change from many of the mystery books I tend to read. Then again, I love gore and that’s no secret. The Chalk Man bounces flawlessly between past and present as the story of an unfortunate girl’s murder unravels. Normally, I find back and forth plots confusing. Tudor approaches this not by labeling each shift as a new chapter, but by naming the chapters with the year they take place. This weaving of the plot creates a sense of urgency, with each chapter ending on the cusp of a new discovery. When all the cards are on the table, nothing is as it seems. The popular, snarky definition of the word “assume” definitely plays a heavy-handed role in this book and Tudor pulls it off well. Creating complex characters appears to be another forte of Tudor’s. By complex, I mean that his cast, much like the plot, has as several layers to it. In some cases, this can make a story difficult to comprehend, but Tudor exercises some caution in giving any of his characters too many traits. The Chalk Man is a quick, entertaining read which is always a plus. The constant action kept the book from becoming a chore and thus I was able to devour it in a few days.

A brutal murder takes place in a small town and is never solved - years later certain signs begin again, the chalk men drawn all around the scene of the crime and sent in letters to the people involved. I really enjoyed this book - it was scary and not predictable. I would recommend this to anyone who likes typical thrillers but wants to work a bit harder to identify the real killer.

I spent most of this book wondering what the heck was wrong with this town! There is so much insanity and many deaths or serious injuries and just about everyone in town was suspicious. The characters were well developed and interesting, although most of them were far from likeable. I really liked how it alternated between 1986 and 2016. It gave a great look at the characters as children and as adults, which allowed the reader to see how the events of 1986 affected them. I was shocked multiple times throughout this book when the reader learns about what happened during each of the deaths and assaults that happen in this little town. I was definitely sucked in and couldn’t wait to find out what happened next.

This is the best thriller I’ve read in quite awhile! Very unique story and full of characters that I loved despite their many flaws and questionable actions. Some good twists as well. Just overall a wonderful read.

This book was wonderful from the start. I enjoyed that it had points of views from different times in the main characters life. Eddie & his friends created their own hidden communication that unintentionally leads them down a dark path. I was completely shocked by the ending and truly had no idea what was next. One of the easiest reads I've come across in a while & I wish it was a bit longer.

I really struggled getting into this book since this pacing was so slow at first. I am glad I did not give up. Eddie and his friends live in a small town and use chalk to communicate. When the chalk begins to lead them to trouble, they discover nothing is what it seems. I liked that the book went backward and forward in time to tell the story. The book did not end the way I thought it would and I always love being able to be stumped. I think overall this was a solid read.

I was provided an ARC from Penguin Books and First to Read for my honest review. I really enjoyed this novel by CJ Tudor. It was well written, flowed flawlessly, and kept me riveted. The characters were well developed and the plot moved nicely. The who dunnit aspect was critical and uneasy to solve. I especially appreciated the ending and found myself surprised. I would definitely recommend this book to others.

This book follows Eddie and his group of friends while rotating between the past and present. While growing up, these boys would draw secret coded pictures with colored chalk- each friend having his own color. However, one night, they find chalk drawings of a different color that lead them to a murdered girl in the woods. Several years later, they all receive letters with a mysterious chalk man enclosed that appears to be linked to the past. After one of Eddie's friends disappears, Eddie is determined to find out what happened to him and solve the murder that he believed was never really solved from long ago. I enjoyed this novel and how it kept me guessing until the end. Tudor's writing was easy to follow and kept me hooked with twists along the way. Although, the ending does wrap up the mystery, I felt as though the ending was very abrupt and was a little surprised that it was over. I would recommend this to mystery/thriller lovers who enjoy a quick, satisfying read and look forward to Tudor's next book!! This one comes out in early January. Be sure to add it to your TBR list if you have not already! 4 ????????

I would give this book a solid 3 out of 5 stars. The premise behind the book was very interesting and I was kept guessing several times throughout the book and it had many plot twists that I wasn't expecting. It was a solid mystery novel and I thought the writing itself was excellent. I am a big fan of novels that switch back and forth between the present and the past, in this case 1986 and 2016, since I love guessing where the two narratives will finally link up. However, it was a bit slow at times and I wished the chalk figures would have appeared more in the book than they actually did. Also, the character of Nicky felt more like a plot devise than an actual character that I could empathize with. Overall, though, I would easily recommend this book to anyone looking for a good murder mystery with a little creepiness.

This was such a good thriller. I am not even kidding when I say that this is one of my favorite thrillers and I would be hard-pressed to find another that can match up to it. I absolutely loved the plot. It was complex and kept the reader on their toes as it flitted from past and present. There's murder and gossip and rumors and evil - but whether that evil is supernatural or man-made is something the reader has to figure out on their own. I was caught up in the revelations of the past more than the way things were coming together in the future, but this in no way took away from the story. I loved reading about the younger versions of all of the characters as well as how they grew up. There were so many twists and turns that this novel took, and it definitely brought all of the thrills. There were points when I was too scared to continue reading without the lights on! This was such an intricate and beautifully written piece of work, with a tense story line and the perfect characters and setting for such a disturbing tale. Anyone who loves thrillers would not be disappointed with this book! I will definitely be giving this a 5/5 stars and would recommend it to anyone and everyone! I can't wait to see what this author will come up with next!

I found this to be really slow-moving and rather dull. I think fans of The Girl on the Train would love this book - it has a similar tone, setting, pace, fact it's quite similar - but I was not a huge fan of The Girl on the Train and likewise of this book. I thought it relatively unthrilling, for a thriller. But I am in the extreme minority with this view!

I couldn’t put this book down. Lots of twists and turns. Loved the characters. Realistic teenage boys. The book kept me guessing and didn’t turn out the way I thought it would. Excellent read. Looking forward to more from C J Tudor!!!!

I loved this book! Once I started reading this book, I didn't want to put it down. I ended up reading the whole book cover to cover in a single evening. This was a pretty fast paced novel that kept me guessing. I may have figured a few things out but there were a whole lot of things that really surprised me. I was truly impressed by this thriller. This book is told in two timelines, 2016 and 1986, so we get to see Eddie and his friends both as children and adults. Both of the timelines worked together to tell the story and I really enjoyed both of the equally. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough as I was incredibly eager to know what had happened when they were kids and what was happening to them in their adult life. I thought that the opening pages were incredibly strong and set the stage for the novel. I wanted to know how that body ended up where we see it at the start of the novel and needed to know its identity. When everything was eventually revealed, I found it to be a somewhat surprising and satisfying conclusion. I thought that the characters were well developed. The story is told from Eddie's point of view so we see everything from his own perspective. There are things that the boys do that made me cringe a bit but I thought that they all felt very realistic. This group of boys go through a lot together and it was interesting to see how some of those things impacted their relationship with each other over the years. I would highly recommend this book to thriller fans. I found this to be a really exciting read that kept me guessing. I am really impressed by that fact that this is C.J. Tudor's debut novel. I will be eagerly waiting for more books from this new author. I received an advance reader copy of this book from Crown Publishing Group via First to Read and Blogging for Books.

4.5 stars. Weaving back and forth in time between 1986 and 2016, The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor is a suspense-laden, twist-filled tale of murder. In 1986, Eddie Adams and his band of friends, Fat Gav, Metal Mickey Cooper, David “Hoppo” Hopkins and the lone girl in the group, Nicky Martin are enjoying the last vestiges of summer before school begins again. Their days are filled with innocent pursuits as they ride their bikes, explore the nearby woods and write cryptic messages to one another in chalk. Interspersed with their idyllic fun are a few tragedies and bullying from an older peer but a grisly discovery in the woods becomes the defining moment that haunts them for years to come. Now thirty years later, three of the gang still live in the same small town. Ed is a school teacher, Gav owns a pub and Hoppo is a plumber caring for his elderly mother. Ed remains deeply troubled by those long ago events and when Mickey comes back planning to write a book about that seminal summer, trouble quickly follows. Someone is sending them ominous letters and after one of them is murdered, Ed becomes obsessed with uncovering the truth about the current death and the troubling discovery from their youth. Ed is a bit of an unreliable narrator as the novel flips back and forth between the past and present. Suffering from nightmares, fearing his father’s early onset Alzheimer’s will strike him and a propensity to drink too much, he tries to make sense of what he remembers from their childhood and how these long ago events might be connected to what is occurring now. Ed also regrets that he might have inadvertently influenced the investigation in the past and he would nothing more than to find evidence that someone he greatly admired is, in fact, innocent of the crime many believe he committed. But after so much time has passed, will Ed find the proof he needs to unmask a clever killer? The Chalk Man is an intricately plotted and riveting mystery. Each of the chapters ends on cliffhanger which ratchets up the tension in this clever debut by C. J. Tudor. The characters are remarkably well developed and incredibly life-like with all too relatable strengths and weaknesses. The novel moves at a brisk pace and comes to a jaw-dropping, twisty-turny conclusion. An absolutely brilliant mystery that I highly recommend to fans of the genre.

The Chalk Man started out in what I thought was going to be a grizzly murder mystery/thriller (which I guess it was) and I normally don’t enjoy reading about gore and such. But this book had enough depth and mystery that kept my interest even though I tended to gloss over the dismemberment descriptions. Nobody was who I thought they were and always kept you guessing. Overall, this book was a decent read.

I would classify this as average to above average. The best thing I can say is that there were twists and turns that I definitely didn't see coming. So it was not as predictable as I originally thought it would be. For that reason, I'd say it's worth checking out.

This was a great book!! I really enjoyed the writing style and the narration with flashbacks then forward to present time. I love mysteries and thrillers though I can usually predict the ending. This book kept me guessing. I would recommend this book and look forward to what CJ Tudor publishes in the future.

Okay first off, for a debut novel this was amazingly good! Secondly I got hooked into it within the first few pages, I mean come on the main character Eddie and his friends did everything together.. rode bikes, built forts, and communicated in secret codes.. with chalk figures. And Thirdly, I loved the narrating of this book. The flashbacks to the 80s and present time. This book was wholesome, creepy, and humorous. These are the mystery/suspense I live for!!! If there were more written like this, I don’t think I would do anything else with my time but read.

The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor is the story about Eddie and his group of friends who are typical pre-teens in the summer of 1986, when a horrific accident at a carnival is the beginning of things changing for the group. Then they find a familiar body in the woods, and it takes 30 years for the truth to come out. Alternating between 1986 and 2016, the story takes shape and is narrated by Eddie, now a teacher that drinks too much, and adds momentum to the story as more is revealed. There is a very strong Stand by Me vibe to this story that I found appealing, and the plot was interesting. I didn't want to put it down, it kept me guessing and there were twists I didn't see coming. I really enjoyed this book, I couldn't wait to see how it ended, and I was satisfied when it did.

I did figure part of this one out fairly early on, but it was suspenseful enough to keep my interest and I think it had great character development. There were several "aha!" moments that were surprising as the story goes back and forth from 1986 to 2016. Finding a body as a preteen is something that will never be forgotten but the events that happen from that point have Eddie starting to question even his closest friends in their small town where everyone knows everyone. Even as a teen, can you trust people you've known all your life? This one is definitely worth the read!

12 year olds and summer – what a perfect combination. Eddie and his friends, Fat Gav, Metal Mickey, Hobbo and the only girl in the gang, Nicky, are enjoying every minute of it. They like to leave each other messages with little chalk stick men drawings. They’re having a great time of it until they’re led to a dismembered body. And what has led them to this body? Little chalk men drawings. Now they’re grown up and each have received mysterious letters with a chalk stick man. That’s when they realize that the past isn’t over after all. The book fluctuates between 1986 and 2016. I loved the atmosphere that this author created and was pulled right back to the 80’s. Such fun running all over this English village with these kids, seeing what excitement there is to find on those hot summer days. This book is reminiscent of Stephen King’s novella, “The Body”, which was made into the film, “Stand By Me”, and is impressive for a debut. To me, King’s novella is a classic and Ms. Tudor has a way to go before her work can truly be compared to King’s but it did remind me of it but without the deep sadness that King’s book invoked. It has a spooky feel without anything supernatural going on and I liked that the author didn’t feel the need to include gory details to make her book suspenseful. Unfortunately, the end didn’t come as a surprise to me and I’m not that quick to pick up on clues. These clues seemed to be a bit too obvious. I almost felt like I was a step ahead of the author throughout the book and knew what was coming. But the book is very addictive, the characters are likeable (at least when they’re children) and it was a fun read.

This was a great book. From the first sentence, I was sucked into the story. The way the book jumped from the 80s to 2016 seemed to add to the whole thriller vibe. I also enjoyed how the book ended. I never saw it coming. I would definitely recommend this book.

I can't decide how I feel about this book: in love with the author's style of writing, or appalled by the characters! I was drawn in from the start with the story of a young boy growing up with his friends in the '80s, and what tragedy was to befall them. I loved the descriptions of the boys and life in general. However, the book left me a little depressed about the condition of man kind in general. I'm looking forward to more from C.J. Tudor.

This book was everything. I enjoyed it and read it very quickly. The complexities between the characters had me hooked very early on and I would definitely recommend it.

The Chalk Man is a terrific, engulfing read that focuses on images of idyllic childhood pals playing in this he woods, street carnivals, and drawing chalk stickmen. It captures quite beautifully childhood memories and doesn’t sugarcoat the frustrations and bullying and family dramas. But, it’s also about the eventual utter loss of innocence as all kinds of mayhem rains down again and again in wave after wave of death, dismemberment, and distrust. There are two narratives, one that plays out in childhood in 1986, and one thirty years later in 2016 as all the old mysteries still haunt them in nightmares and weight them down no matter what they do. Normally, I am not in favor of such split narratives, but they work wonderfully here. The story plays out in both timelines with each shocking detail making your head explode. It is very very well paced and extraordinarily difficult to put down. Thanks to Penguin Publishing for providing a copy of this novel for review.

I didn't find this novel to be as entertaining as others have reviewed. It was an okay book where it appears every single person is guilty of something, some worse than others. I struggled with some of the wording because it was different than what we use in America. Overall a decent read, but not all that thrilling or attention holding. Thanks for the advance copy First to Read.

Well......I sure read a lot of praise/hype about this book prior to receiving an e-ARC! I guess I wasn't quite as taken with it as others were..... I found it to be an entertaining, quick read....but I didn't think it was overly scary or thrilling/riveting. I thought it was entertaining enough, but it didn't stress me at all while reading it. I enjoyed the author's bio & thought the cover was good, the chapters were of an easily manageable length.....all made for a quick/easy read. I do appreciate having received the e-galley from Penguin's First-to-Read Giveaway program, free & in return for my own independent & honest review. All opinions are my own.

WOW! I really enjoyed this book. The book is about a group of old friends who grew up in the 1980's. Eddie, Fat Gav, Hoppo and Mickey along with the only girl, Nicky, spend time together, having fun and also going through typical angst. However, their world comes tumbling apart when an accident at the fair, changes things in their small town. The story revolves around the aftermath of the accident and how things can just completely snowball into even worse situations. The book also focuses on a new women's clinic and the controversy surrounding the clinic and how they clash with the local church. But, the book takes you through so much more than that and I don't want to give too much away except to say that this book was a fun, roller coaster ride and a book that I couldn't wait to get back to once put down.

Chalk men lurking... I'm sure we all have drawn a chalk man or a chalk girl, but never with the consequences that this young group of kids endure! A very clever thriller full of seething secrets. I read the description for this book and I wasn't sure that this would be something I would enjoy, but I was mesmerized by the slow unraveling of this tale! Told from childhood (1986) to present day (2016) by one of the boys, Eddie. The author's writing transported be back and forth to each time period. The group of friends use chalk drawings to secretly communicate to each other. Terrible secrets are revealed, frightening scenes are described, and someone will die! We are told to "beware of the chalk man". Will the truth be uncovered? Nothing could distract me while reading this book! I think almost EVERYONE would enjoy this suspenseful, unique, and unpredictable thriller.

Wow! The Chalk Man is the best book that I have read all year! This story is riveting! It takes you on a thrilling and suspenseful ride with so many twists and turns. There are surprises around every corner. This book has a good amount of central characters, and they are all very well developed. They are full of surprises. Just when you think you have them figured out, think again. The premise of this story definitely grabs your attention and holds it until the end. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone!

The Chalk Man is an interesting read. Thirty years ago in a small town in England there was a murder and the victim was found by a group of 12 year old kids and the murder is never really solved. The story skips back and forth between the present and the past. The friendship between the kids feels familiar and will leave you thinking about friends you played with at that age. The children have a code where they leave messages to each other in chalk. Seems like harmless fun until the chalk messages lead them to the discovery of a body. It is well done and will leave you guessing as to whodunit. I would definitely recommend this book and am looking forward to more books by C.J. Tudor.

This was a delightful read about rights and wrongs and setting right your wrongs. Yes, it was a thriller, but it was never anything that made me scared and not want to be doing what I was doing. So, it was a thriller in that you were always trying to figure out who the chalk man was, but the truth ended up being much more complex than just a man. The story follows Ed - Eddie as he is known in the younger flashbacks - as he comes to terms with a murder that happened during his youth...a murder that he just hasn't quite been able to forget (and for good reason). Ed struggles with much, and it could very well be that it is because he is following in the footsteps of many of the older characters in the story and is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. A wonderful story that I was able to read quickly and enjoy very much.

*4.5 stars* I have seen nothing but glowing reviews for this thriller. This kind of hype makes me nervous sometimes, but I'm happy to report that I loved it as well! The Chalk Man follows Eddie and his friends as they navigate childhood in the mid 80's. There is a series of grim events that appear unrelated ... until decades later, when Eddie and his remaining friends receive anonymous letters with chalk men on it -- exactly the way they had communicated with each other that long ago summer, and what lead them to the discovery of a body in the woods. There are a lot of comparisons to Stephen King's work, especially It, and I think it's apt. One of the main characters is even named Mr. Halloran - not exactly the spelling of Dick Halloran from some of King's novels, but definitely reminiscent. Eddie also reminded me, at least initially, of Eddie from the kids in It. Like King, Tudor also has a deft hand when dealing with childhood; it's a stark nostalgia, mixed in with the knowledge that being young isn't all flowers and puppies. The Chalk Man, however, is a thriller, not a horror, although there are some horrific elements. I enjoyed Eddie's journey as he figures out what was really happening during that summer, and I felt the ending was a satisfying one. Thanks to First to Read Penguin for an ARC.

I was given access to an early edition of The Chalk Man through Penguin’s First to Read program. This is a well written, twist and turns mystery. The tale of 12 year old boys and their adults selves, tied up w family issues, social issues and murder. What more can a reader ask for. Enjoyed this book and would recommend it.

Remember the movie "Stand by Me?" This book reminded me of that movie - 4 boys around 12 years old, doing what boys do. They decide at one point to use chalk drawings to send each other messages. For instance, if one boy drew a circle with a line through it on your driveway, the other boy was to come to the park. Like most young boys, they thought this was cool, until one day a body is found and the chalk drawings are part of the mystery surrounding the death. One chapter is set in the 80's and one chapter is set in 2016, going back and forth, so that you eventually figure out the mystery. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to more of C.J. Tudor's writing. Thank you to First to Read for the advanced copy!

Ok, so I read a debut novel from C.J. Tudor, The Chalk Man: A Novel this week, and I have to say, it is the best mystery / thriller I've read in some time, and probably will be for a while. But wait, before I get too deep into this, I must state that I received an advanced review copy from NetGalley in trade for an honest review, so a big hearty thank you goes out to them, as well as Crown Publishing. (You guys rule!) Now that I got that legal stuff out of the way, back to it. This novel, plain and simply put, is quite damn amazing. It's so precisely well written, I'm having a hard time believe that this is a debut novel. So to you, C.J. Tudor, I tip my hat. The Chalk Man: A Novel has the simple premise of a story, being told from the point of view of twelve and forty-two year old Eddie, jumping back and forth through time from 1986 to 2016. As a child, he and his friends have an innocent enough game in which they communicate with little "chalk man" drawings they leave for one another. It's all fun and games until a series of these chalk men lead them to an area where they stumble upon a dead body. Thirty years later, as Eddie would seem at rest with the past, a mysterious chalk man drawing comes to him and digs up a series of event surrounding the death he and his friends uncovered as youth. To me, there's nothing worse than predicting the plot twist of a book, and I thought I had this one figured out... and boy was I wrong. In a swirl of uncovered truths, lies, and secrets, The Chalk Man: A Novel the a fast paced, edge of your seat thriller that must be added to your bookshelf in early 2018. It'll keep you guessing with each flip of the page right on to the very end. This book gets nothing short of 5 stars. Hell, I'd give it six if that were a thing. The Chalk Man: A Novel by C.J. Tudor, comes on January 9, 2018 through Crown Publishing.

I just finished The Chalk man and the summary delivers on the promise. It's a fantastic book. The ending blew my mind and I won't spoil it. The friends felt real. I must say the novel took over my life this week. It is everything I want in suspense. There were twists I didn't figure out. And I wouldn't change a thing. A couple of themes kept resonating: forgiveness and acceptance. I also noticed the ones with secrets had some sort of consequence for it. I would definitely recommend this for fans of a psychological thriller. I am gonna buy a paperback copy.

This book takes place in two time periods and is told from the point of view of Eddie, who even at 12 showed signs of eccentricity. In 1986, Eddie, Mickey, Nicky, Hoppo and Fat Gav are 12 year old friends who invented a game of using chalk to leave secret messages for each other. However their messages may not be as secret as they thought. In 2016, 3 of the friends still live in the same town, but the events of 1986 continue to haunt them and all 5 of them are still linked to the chalk man. A body was found in the woods, but whose body? A new teacher seems vaguely odd, but is he dangerous? What's really up with the vicar? Who is the chalk man? Someone was arrested, but why? Does karma really get you in the end? This is a book that teases you with a slow reveal of bits of information, red herrings and twists, until the giant, exceedingly creepy twist at the ending. Everyone has secrets and everyone has something in his or her past that they really shouldn't have done. There seemed to be a lot of funerals in this book and it had a decidedly downbeat view of growing older. Nevertheless, the tone was lightened with occasional humor and it was not a grim book despite the mystery at its core. I found it to be an unpredictable, entertaining and inventive read and I'd like to read more by this author. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

This was easily one of the best thrillers I have read in a long time. Riveting, suspenseful and kept me guessing until the very end. I loved the use of the first person perspective so that we only got what Eddie was thinking. It made me think about what the view would be from some of the other main characters. I loved how all of the characters were very relatable and very flawed. The author also uses one of my favorite styles in his writing: He gives us just enough detail, but paints a picture that still allows us to fill in with our own imagination. I also relished that everything was believable; there were no plot twists that were beyond reality. This is a book that I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys reading a good thriller; this book will be extremely satisfying because, in my opinion, it is a great thriller!

It’s hard to write a review without worrying about giving away every detail. The book was captivating from the beginning and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time! Even as I write this, my jaw is on the floor! The Chalk Man is definitely a must read for fans of thrillers!

LOVED this book! Suspenseful, grisly, exciting. So many great twists. This would make an incredible movie. Just love it. Can't say one bad thing.

In this entertaining debut Eddie and his friends, 12 years old in 1986, develop a secret code using "chalk men," little stick figures conveying messages only they can understand. All is fun and games until an older boy catches on, ultimately drowning, and a chalk man leads Eddie and his friends to a dismembered body. Flash forward to 2016. Grown-up Ed and his friends receive letters containing a chalk man. Is this just a prank? When one of them turns up dead, Ed realizes that he will have to solve the mystery of the chalk man by figuring out what happened back when they were kids.

I gave this novel 5/5 stars! I adored the refreshing construction of suspense. I absolutely read this in one sitting. It was great fun. Perhaps the best part was me not guessing the whodunnit - or the beautiful Doctor Who reference. Either way I cannot wait to read more by said author. A group of kids discover a dead body - the story unravels as they process this and fast forward to now when the puzzle starts to fit together and long ago questions are answered/ alll while teetering between past and present!

The story reminded me of a more mysterious and twisted version of an episode of Cold case. It was told from the alternating perspective of a 12 year old boy and his 30 year older self. It is another in the popular line of thrillers with building information. It is not a long story and was one of my fastest reads of the year. While it's not necessarily "edge of the seat" thrilling, it was intriguing and I was always ready to read the next chapter to unravel the mystery further. If you are a fan of thrillers, then this is definitely worth your while.

I have somewhat mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, I find it incredible that this is a debut novel. The writer is seriously talented. There's usually some hesitancy, some rough edges with debut novels and I didn't find any of that with this book. A tenet often repeated in the book is ~ look beyond the obvious, never assume things.~ That's good advice for this novel too. It covers everything from childish naivety, abortion, religious fanatacisim, to insane amounts of hypocrisy. Secrets kept and the damage we can do when we don't foresee consequences. Really the only thing that left me shaking my head and having mixed feelings was the nighttime jaunts the protagonist apparently took. Were they actual walks, or just dreams? If they were just dreams how did he end up with dirt and injuries from them? If they were nighttime sleep walking, how did they make him almost prescient? It just didn't seem to fit with the rest of the story and was never really explained. Other than that though, I thought it was a great read and would fully recommend.

I was fortunate to have access to an early edition of The Chalk Man through Penguin’s First to Read program. The story begins in 1986 when readers meet Eddie as he is exposed to a horrific sight; a dismembered body has been found and a creepy chalk outline was left there to accompany the gruesome find. The killer was allegedly found back then and had subsequently committed suicide before being taken into police custody. However, apparently the murder was not resolved, for the author flashes forward to 2016, and Eddie and some of his friends have received unusual messages, chalk outlines, in the mail. There is so much more to the story and when one of his friends ends up dead, Eddie realizes he must dig into the past in order to find the answers he seeks. It is a riveting read, and thank First to Read for the advance copy!

I received an ARC from First to Read for this book and I am so glad. This is a fantastic mystery. Once started I could not put it down. It is hard to believe it is a debut novel so........we can only look for more later with high hopes. Characters were believable and even though it jumps from past to present frequently, it only helps the reader to understand the story. I highly recommend for any mystery reader. Just be sure to put everything else on the back burner first.

I loved this book! The Chalk Man by C J Tudor is a fantastic debut (really? This is a debut?) This story definitely falls into the category of stories like It and The Body..mixing the coming of age with psychological suspense. It's told in one point of view, Ed Adams at 12 and then at 42 bouncing between 1986 and 2016. All the information you need is here, there aren't any cheats to the big reveals, and likely if you read a lot of crime you can figure them out. That does not in any way dull the pleasure of the unfolding of events, of feeling like you've been dropped into the lives of these quirky kids in the 80s or seeing how they've gone on into their adult years.There is the sense of darkness and the shadows of life linger over everything in a very effective way. ** Thank you Penguin Random House First To Read for my Advance Copy in exchange for an honest review

I really enjoyed this book, it had me riveted from the beginning with the retro setting and the mystery with the chalk figures. The main character kept me swaying like a pendulum wondering about his role in the mystery right to the modern day conclusion. Well written and entertaining, though somewhat dark. Definitely recommend.

I love a good mystery and THE CHALK MAN had a lot of potential: interesting, flawed characters and a plot and subplots galore. So why did the author constantly reveal her hand through the frequent use of foreshadowing? None of the mysteries were that difficult to solve, but the author seemed to feel it necessary to take the readers' hands and lead us from clue to clue. Personally, I find it a much more satisfying journey (read) if I’m allowed to explore on my own. My thanks to Penguin First to Read for the Advance Reader Copy.

I received an ARC of this novel from the FirstToRead Program via Random House LLC in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! 1986- Eddie and his friends exchange secret messages, drawings left in chalk, which only the others can decipher. Someone begins leaving messages including the one that leads them to the dismembered body of a young girl. But these messages are all left in white chalk...a color none of them use. 2016- Eddie and his friends are now grown and believe the events from the past have finally been laid to rest until they begin to receive the messages once again. Eddie must piece together the events from their past to try and find the killer before it’s too late. This novel is dark and fantastic! It explores coming of age, traumatic childhood events, friendship, secrets, and the power of our actions. I was so excited to get a chance to read and review this novel and it did not disappoint me. I was hooked from the first chapter and could not put this one down. There were so many twists and turn as the stories are retold, events begin to intertwine, and truths are revealed. I highly recommend this novel; an absolute must read for 2018!


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