The Chalk Man is my first read of the year and I am so glad it was! An easy 5 stars. This fast paced mystery hooked me from chapter one and kept me guessing until the very last page. As much as this is a mystery it also reminds us that all of our choices and decisions have consequences. What we choose to do and to tell others has just as much impact on our lives as what choose not to do or tell. A very important lesson wrapped up in a creepy, page turning, mystery.
“What shapes us is not always our achievements but our omissions. Not lies; simply the truths we don’t tell.”
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 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.
I always love when I thoroughly enjoy a book, for obvious reasons of course, but also because it makes writing the review so much easier! You can skip any negatives because there aren’t any. This is especially true for The Chalk Man. I had no negatives. I read and read and read until I finished. I soaked it all in, gasping almost every chapter at twists and turns I did not see coming. Nothing took away from this read for me.
It is hard to believe this is C.J. Tudor’s debut novel. The writing was fluid and easily transitioned between the past and the present with the same narrator, but in a way that made it easy to follow along. From one chapter to the next I wasn’t sure which story I wanted to know more about, his childhood or his present life. All of it kept me hooked and the changing between time periods never confused me or threw me off. The main character was also equal parts a little creepy and relatable. While I don’t share his affinity for certain things its easy to see why he did certain things and why he felt afraid to tell the truth. Honestly I was just intrigued by his story the whole way through, and that ending! It’s a good one y’all.
As a trigger warning, this book does deal with sexual abuse and abortion topics, but are done so in a very respectable way.
I can not wait to see what is in store next for C.J. Tudor and where her amazing writing will take her. I highly recommend The Chalk Man for what will most definitely be a 5 star read for your new year!
I am hosting a giveaway of one copy of this book, US only, on my Instagram. Click HERE to enter! Ends 1/14/18.