The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor @cjtudor @MichaelJBooks @PenguinUKBooks #BookReview

Posted October 22, 2020 by Zoé in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor
Published by Penguin on August 23, 2018
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Pages: 346
Also by this author: The Taking of Annie Thorne, The Other People, The Burning Girls

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.

This is book is something else. It is a book that will make you question everything and everyone. I can’t tell you what I loved the most about the book because well it’s a huge spoiler but it is immense. The Chalk Man is one clever twisty tale. A story that leads you down so many paths and they aren’t necessarily ones you are ready for.

This was a debut by the talented Ms Tudor, but I have read it last. All her tales err on the edge of the supernatural within the visceral pictures that are chalked in front of us (oh yes I did that). It is no different here, unexplained things happen within these pages, enough to send that shiver down your spine and who doesn’t love that thrill.

Within this small world built by Tudor, we are shown a past where its 1986 and ways to entertain ourselves do not include phones, internet or computers. Instead, the story focuses on how young boys imagination with chalk can cause deadly outcomes. When things start to get a bit juicy, we are brought back to the present day, where history can not rest until we have answers. These answers are delicious and some were not expected and some were shocking and some are left to your imagination, mine is a wild one!

The ending feels like a full circle, not sure if it’s satisfying for my bloodthirsty needs but it’s a tantalising one for sure.

I would be sitting there thinking ooh X has happened it would be awesome if it was Y that happened. Then I turn the page and I chuckled with glee when Y did happen but then Z happened too and I hadn’t planned for that and then throw in A and B! Then you are close to understanding a book by CJ Tudor.

I would read anything Caz writes, I am itching for her next book and The Other People is definitely one of my favourites I have read this year. To have a story teased out the way she does, yet never relenting the tension over 300 pages is no easy feat. I was on tenterhooks trying to finish this book and over 3 evenings I did. I was buddy reading this with Chloe (Chloe’s Reading Room) and she was flying quicker than me but it didn’t stop with all our speculation. Shame I can not share some of our theories because of well SPOILER!! But it was great because she made me realise things I hadn’t thought of so it was much more interesting for sure.

If you haven’t read this one yet then I urge to read it and enjoy this journey. You may never look at a bucket of chalks or chalk men the same way though…

Until next time xxx

Nothing as I have read everything that has been written. Although…although!! Next year there is a book called The Burning Girls which I will DEFINITELY be reading!

About C.J. Tudor

C. J. Tudor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham, where she still lives with her partner and young daughter.

She left school at sixteen and has had a variety of jobs over the years, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, shop assistant, ad agency copywriter and voiceover.

In the early nineties, she fell into a job as a television presenter for a show on Channel 4 called Moviewatch. Although a terrible presenter, she got to interview acting legends such as Sigourney Weaver, Michael Douglas, Emma Thompson and Robin Williams. She also annoyed Tim Robbins by asking a question about Susan Sarandon’s breasts and was extremely flattered when Robert Downey Junior showed her his chest.

While writing the Chalk Man she ran a dog-walking business, walking over twenty dogs a week as well as looking after her little girl.

She’s been writing since she was a child but only knuckled down to it properly in her thirties. Her English teacher once told her that if she ‘did not become Prime Minister or a best-selling author’ he would be ‘very disappointed.’

The Chalk Man was inspired by a tub of chalks a friend bought for her daughter’s second birthday. One afternoon they drew chalk figures all over the driveway. Later that night she opened the back door to be confronted by weird stick men everywhere. In the dark, they looked incredibly sinister. She called to her partner: ‘These chalk men look really creepy in the dark . . .’

She is never knowingly over-dressed. She has never owned a handbag and the last time she wore heels (twelve years ago) she broke a tooth.

She loves The Killers, Foo Fighters and Frank Turner. Her favourite venue is Rock City.

Her favourite films are Ghostbusters and The Lost Boys. Her favourite authors are Stephen King, Michael Marshall and Harlan Coben.

She is SO glad she was a teenager in the eighties.

She firmly believes that there are no finer meals than takeaway pizza and champagne, or chips with curry sauce after a night out.

Everyone calls her Caz

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2 responses to “The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor @cjtudor @MichaelJBooks @PenguinUKBooks #BookReview