Book Review | The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for proving me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

“Looking back, it all started on the day of the fair and the terrible accident. When twelve-year-old Eddie first met the Chalk Man.

It was the Chalk Man who gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages between his group of friends.

And it was fun, to start with, until the figures led them to the body of a young girl.

That was thirty years ago and Ed thought the past was behind him. Then he receives a letter containing just two things: a piece of chalk, and a drawing of a stick figure. As history begins to repeat itself, Ed realises the game was never over . . .

Everyone has secrets.

Everyone is guilty of something.

And children are not always so innocent.”

Alternating between present day and 1986, this is a story of a group of twelve year old friends. They make a game of using chalk-drawn stick figures to send each other secret messages. Everything changes when they are led to a body in the woods. I am a big fan of multiple timelines and this was done really well.

However, I got a bit bored of the drama in every single chapter. I know this was done to great suspense and keep you on your toes but by the 6th major accident or death, it lost impact for me. Most characters lacked any development which meant that I didn’t connect with anyone and didn’t really care that they died or were being threatened. There is a nice little twist at the end, but I felt that there were so many clues dropped into the backstory to make sure the twist made sense that it did not even come as a big surprise.

Overall, The Chalk Man was not a bad book but it did not live up to the hype for me. I have read some gleaming reviews and seen it described as ‘The Book of 2018’ but my experience did not match this. C.J. Tudor has a very good and distinctive writing style so I do look forward to future work from her, this one just wasn’t for me.



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