I am absolutely delighted to be kicking off the Blog Tour for the biggest debut of 2018 – The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor. My thanks to the publisher Michael Joseph for inviting me on the tour.
About the book: The must-read thriller of 2018, this riveting and relentlessly compelling psychological suspense debut 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: You know those books that you pick up with no expectations, start reading and before you know it you are 20% through and you have no idea where the time has gone but you do know that you are absolutely LOVING the book and then all you can think about is when you can continue reading it (damn you real life, work, family, housework etc), and then you steal more time away from real life to read and suddenly you notice you are 60% through and your kindle is telling you that there is 1 hr 25 mins left in the book and you think “NOOOOO!” because you want to read it BUT you don’t want to finish it as it’s so good? Well that is EXACTLY how I felt whilst reading CJ Tudor’s brilliant debut novel THE CHALK MAN.
I don’t need to go over the blurb as it’s been described brilliantly above, however I do need to tell you that this is one of the best suspense thrillers I’ve read in a long time and you need to put this on your wishlist or pre-order this now is as this will be HUGE in 2018. Not only is the writing superb, the author has such a wonderful way with her words which is both observational and thought-provoking, the plot line is original and gripping, the humour is dry and dark, her characters are so plausible and believable I felt like I knew them all and don’t get me started on the twists and turns throughout!
A very easy 5 big fat stars and 100% recommended by me!
I invited the lovely CJ Tudor over to Compulsive Readers for a Quickie, and here’s what she had to say:
Tell me about your latest book and why we should read it?
The Chalk Man is a creepy coming-of-age murder mystery. It’s set in 2016 and 1986 – that’s when we first meet twelve-year-old Eddie and his friends. They invent a game: drawing chalk figures on the ground to pass secret messages. But the game turns sinister when the figures start to appear on their own and lead them to the body of a girl. Thirty years later, Ed thinks the past is behind him Then he receives a letter containing just two things – a drawing of a stick figure and a piece of chalk . . .
If someone was to write your life story what would the title be?
Got There in the End.
What’s the strangest fan question or request you’ve received?
I don’t think I have . . . yet! I still find it odd being asked to sign books for people. Kind of – me? Really?
If you could co-write with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be?
Stephen King or Michael Marshall
Tell me something nobody else knows about you (yet!).
Hmmm. Several years ago, I tripped on some cobbles and broke a front tooth, so now I have an implant. It was an expensive trip which I blame on the cobbles, not the wine!!
Finally, please recommend 3 books that you have recently read and tell me why you’ve chosen these.
The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd – A young woman leaves her life behind to marry a convicted killer and subject of a true crime documentary. When the campaign to release him is successful, she begins to doubt his innocence. Wonderfully dark and twisted. You won’t know what to believe!
The Dry by Jane Harper – Not a word is wasted in this taut thriller. Set in a small Australian town amid a terrible drought, Luke Hadler – apparently – kills his wife and son before committing suicide. Detective Aaron Falk returns for the funeral of his childhood friend, but starts to question the crime. The tension is palpable and everything builds to a brilliant conclusion!
I know My Name by C. J. Cooke – A woman is washed up on a remote Greek island with no recollection of who she is or how she got there. In London, a young wife has vanished into thin air, leaving a toddler and twelve-week-old baby alone. Unsettling, full of twists – with a genuine surprise ending!