Thursday, December 14, 2017

Review - The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor @cjtudor @CrownPublishing

The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication Date: January 9, 2018
Date Read: November 24, 2017
Length: 288 pages
Source: First to Read / Blogging for Books
★★★★★
The must-read thriller of 2018, this riveting and relentlessly compelling psychological suspense debut weaves a mystery about a childhood game gone dangerously awry that 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 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.
My Review

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.
About the Author

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, voice-over, 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 novel.

Author Links: Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

40 comments:

  1. Must read thriller, sure why not

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  2. I'm quite intrigued by this one and will wait to download a sample

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    1. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one, Chuckles.

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  3. I was waiting to see what someone thought of this one but now I am totally adding to my wishlist!! Love dual timelines and a book I can't put down. Great review!

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    1. I do recommend this one, Grace! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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  4. One time cover to cover description definitely has me sitting up and taking notice. I do love a mystery that rivets me like that.

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    1. I just didn't want to put it down, Sophia Rose!

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  5. So glad you loved this. I have a ARC from Netgalley and now I'm even more excited to read it. January has so many good books coming out.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, Barb!

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  6. I have this one and hope to get to it soon so I am glad that you enjoyed it! :)

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    1. It was quite the page turner for me. I hope you enjoy it, Stormi!

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    2. :( I ended up not liking it but that happens sometimes.

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    3. Darn! I had hoped you would like it as much as I did. Hope your next read works better for you.

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  7. I just won a copy of this from Read It Forward-so I can't wait to read it now, enjoyed your review!!
    http://httppopandbooks.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-sunday-post.html

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  8. I'm so intrigued after reading that blurb and your review. It seems like a really interesting story. I love thrillers too so this is right up my alley. Glad you liked it.

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  9. I love thrillers and this sounds like a really good one.

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  10. I love your enthousiasm for this one mainly as I didn't know about it. It's nice to find a thriller like that and I love when I have two different periods too like that

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    1. I was completely taken with this book, Melliane!

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  11. Every time I see the title of this, I get Criminal Minds vibes - I feel like there was a bad guy called the chalk man in one of the episodes. Anyhow, this one sounds great! The two perspectives sound interesting - I always love when a book focus on past and present. Great review, Carole! :)

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    1. I don't think I have seen that episode of Criminal Minds, Lauren. Everything came together so well with this book.

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  12. This sounds so creepy! I love the chalk men signals and I love a thriller with 2 timelines. Definitely adding to my TBR!

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  13. I kinda skimmed your review, I'm starting this tomorrow. :) I'm really excited, especially now after knowing how much you love it! Can't wait to give into it!

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  14. I have this on audio and will listen soon for a review in January :) So happy you loved it!

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    1. I will be curious about the audio for this one, Kimberly!

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  15. WOW! That is a heck of a blurb. Just that was enough to keep me on the edge of my seat.

    I will be checking this one out. Great review. :)

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    1. It was such a well done novel. I hope you enjoy it if you get the chance to read it, Angie!

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  16. OMG! Sounds like one gripping book indeed. I'll be keeping an eye for this one.

    Vanessa @ Blushing Geek

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    1. This is one for the keeper shelf, Vanessa!

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  17. I want this to read. The blurb got my attention and your review sealed the deal. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, Nadene!

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  18. I've heard such great things about this book! Now that I've read your review, I know I need to pick it up soon! Thanks for the rec!

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    1. I do hope that you enjoy it. I had such a great time reading this one.

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  19. That sounds pretty fantastic! Love when one catches me like that and I just have to finish it right then and there.

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    1. I think I picked up this book at the perfect time since it was exactly what I was in the mood to read.

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