The Chalk Man – C.J. Tudor – Mystery/Thriller – 2018
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.
Things I liked:
I really enjoyed the writing style of this book. It was a really easy read for me because the writing style was so straightforward, and I was immediately interested in the plot.
The first 3/4 of this book was great. I found the plot really engaging, and I enjoyed the different timelines of 2016 and 1986 – I generally tend to enjoy exploring different timelines if they are written well so this was one of the main reasons I was drawn to this book.
Things I didn’t like:
I wish I had been able to connect a bit more with the characters. I didn’t really care that much about any of the characters, although the book was much more involved with plot than character development.
I thought the last part of the book really let the rest of the novel down. I was so excited to find out who had been responsible for all the murders and then the answer was revealed too quickly compared to the slow build up of the rest of the book. I find this quite a lot with thrillers, but it was more disappointing because I was so invested.
Also, despite the title of The Chalk Man I found the chalk figures didn’t play too much of a role in the novel. I was expecting it to be a main feature of the book, but if you’ve read the book you’ll understand when I say the explanation was just a bit weird.
I gave The Chalk Man 4/5. If you enjoy popular thrillers, I’d definitely recommend picking it up, despite the lacklustre finale.