I have my thoughts on The Chalk Man by C.J.Tudor on my blog today. I had heard so many good things about this book from loads of fellow Book Bloggers that I really needed to read it myself. It is available in various formats and a paperback version is due out August 23rd and published by Penguin Books.
You can feel it in the woods, in the school and in the playground; you can feel it in the houses and at the fairground. You can feel it in most places in the small town of Anderbury . . . the fear that something or someone is watching you.
It began back in 1986, at the fair, on the day of the accident. That was when twelve-year-old Eddie met Mr Halloran – the Chalk Man.
He gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages for his friends and it was fun, until the chalk men led them to a body.
Thirty years later, Ed believes the past is far behind him, until an envelope slips through the letterbox. It contains a stick of chalk, and a drawing of a figure.
Is history going to repeat itself?
Was it ever really over?
Will this game only end in the same way?
This is told from the perspective of Eddie in a dual timeline format, it flickers back and forth between 2016 and 1986. A mysterious letter brings back a host of memories of the summer 30 years ago. A summer of friends and friendship, family, a body and the Chalk Man.
This is a story that gradually gets under your skin in a creepy and eerie way as the past events unfold. I think it has more of an effect as it is from the characters as children as they are caught within the story. I loved this gang of kids, Eddie, Fat Gav, Hoppo, Metal Mickey and Nicky, they are your typical kids growing up in the 80’s, my era. A time of long hot summers, dens, mischief, finding their own fun, out playing for hours with no worries. Something I could identify with.
There are various threads running through the story and so you get to know more of the kids, their families and the dynamics between them. There is a saying that goes along the lies of “you never know what goes on behind closed doors”, it is very apt for this story.
The thing that really stood out for me about this story was the real sense of time and place for the kids. The language, the activities and games they played and secret coded messages, going round to call on friends. Then as I was reminiscing with my own childhood the author began to weave a sense of danger and apprehension in such a way that I could sense something coming. I love this sense of hairs raising, spine tingling and I have to make a real effort to slow my reading down a little as I am so eager to see what is coming.
The part of the story of 2016 is just as unsettling in the respect that as an adult there are things we like to know, for example if you got sent a letter regarding something from your past you would want to know why it had been sent and by who, and also why would the past be dragged back up again. Unless of course the past hadn’t actually been dealt with properly.
That is all I am giving you, I’m not going to go into details about the plot it would be wrong to spoil anything.Just take my word for it when I say that it most definitely worth reading, especially if you are a fan of psychological thrillers.
I loved this book, it had not only a great story line but was so well described, captivating and gave a sense of unease and suspense. An absolutely cracking, spine-tingler of a book and one I would highly, highly recommend.
If you are unsure about buying this then have a look at how other authors describe it.
‘If you like my stuff, you’ll like this’ STEPHEN KING
‘Wonderfully creepy – like a cold blade on the back of your neck’ LEE CHILD
‘[I] haven’t had a sleepless night due to a book in a long time. The Chalk Man changed that’ Fiona Barton, bestselling author of The Widow and The Child
‘Completely engrossing. Reminiscent of those unsettling Stephen King stories of childhood’ John Boyne author of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas
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