Reviews

The Chalk Man – CJ Tudor

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!

My thanks to Netgalley, the publishers Michael Joseph and of course the author CJ Tudor.

The Chalk Man is available to pre-order now and will be published on 11th January 2018.

What the other Authors are saying about The Chalk Man

‘[I] haven’t had a sleepless night due to a book for a longtime. The Chalk Man changed that. Many congrats C. J. Tudor’ Fiona Barton,bestselling author of The Widow

‘What a great book. A twisty thriller and downright creepyending. 5 stars’ Sarah Pinborough, the bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes

‘Tense, skillful storytelling’ Ali Land, bestselling authorof Good Me Bad Me

‘Absolutely brilliant. I was expecting a creepy horror storythat I’d have to read with all the lights on but this book is so much more thanthat – it’s witty, insightful, clever, thoughtful, mysterious, gripping,nostalgic and utterly compelling. Publishers often talk about “an excitingnew voice in fiction” and I genuinely think C. J. Tudor is going to behuge. This book has bestseller written all over it and if it doesn’t go tonumber one I will eat my crime writing hat’ C. L. Taylor, bestselling author ofThe Missing

‘With its driving plot and sensitive evocation of friendshipand loneliness, The Chalk Man is anutterly gripping read, with an ending that will make the hairs on the back ofyour neck bristle’ Karen Perry, bestselling author of Can You Keep a Secret?

‘What an amazing debut! Such an ingenious, original idea. Iwas engrossed from the very first page. I loved how the 1986 and present daystorylines weaved so skilfully together to create that unforgettable andunexpected ending. Compelling, taut and so very, very chilling. This book willhaunt you!’ Claire Douglas, bestselling author of Last Seen Alive

‘It’s been a while since I’ve read such an impressive debut.The pace was perfectly judged, the characters superbly drawn and there’s acreeping sense of unease that starts with the prologue and grows throughout thebook. And then that ending! It feels so fresh and deserves to be a huge success’ James Oswald, bestselling author of theInspector McLean series

‘Impossible to put down, cleverly constructed and executed’ RagnarJonasson, author of the bestselling DarkIceland series

‘Finished reading TheChalk Man by C.J Tudor last night. What a book! Enjoyed every minute of it.A total banger!’ Amy Lloyd, author of The Innocent Wife

‘Kept me up untilfive in the morning. Wonderfully written. I loved it!’ Kimberley Chambers, bestselling author of Backstabber

About the Author:  CJ Tudor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham, where she still lives with her partner and young daughter.

She left school at sixteen and has had a variety of jobs over the years, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, shop assistant, ad agency copywriter and voiceover.

In the early nineties, she fell into a job as a television presenter for a show on Channel 4 called Moviewatch. Although a terrible presenter, she got to interview acting legends such as Sigourney Weaver, Michael Douglas, Emma Thompson and Robin Williams. She also annoyed Tim Robbins by asking a question about Susan Sarandon’s breasts and was extremely flattered when Robert Downey Junior showed her his chest.

While writing the Chalk Man she ran a dog-walking business, walking over twenty dogs a week as well as looking after her little girl.

She’s been writing since she was a child but only knuckled down to it properly in her thirties. Her English teacher once told her that if she ‘did not become Prime Minister or a best-selling author’ he would be ‘very disappointed.’

The Chalk Man was inspired by a tub of chalks a friend bought for her daughter’s second birthday. One afternoon they drew chalk figures all over the driveway. Later that night she opened the back door to be confronted by weird stick men everywhere. In the dark, they looked incredibly sinister. She called to her partner: ‘These chalk men look really creepy in the dark . . .’

She is never knowingly over-dressed. She has never owned a handbag and the last time she wore heels (twelve years ago) she broke a tooth.

She loves The Killers, Foo Fighters and Frank Turner. Her favourite venue is Rock City.

Her favourite films are Ghostbusters and The Lost Boys. Her favourite authors are Stephen King, Michael Marshall and Harlan Coben.

She is SO glad she was a teenager in the eighties.

She firmly believes that there are no finer meals than takeaway pizza and champagne, or chips with curry sauce after a night out.

Everyone calls her Caz

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