I’m absolutely thrilled (in more ways that one!) to be part of the launch celebrations for The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor and would like to extend enormous thanks to Jenny Platt for inviting me to take part and for a copy of The Chalk Man in exchange for an honest review.
The Chalk Man will be published by Michael Joseph, part of the Penguin group, on 11th January 2018 and is available for purchase here.
The Chalk Man
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.
My Review of The Chalk Man
A dismembered body in a wood is both the culmination, and the start, of actions, lies and shared histories that show we all have something to hide.
Wowzers! What an outstanding book! From the opening sentences of The Prologue to the very last word, The Chalk Man had me gripped in its heart-thumping thrall. C. J Tudor writes with such skill. She knows exactly when one word says more than a whole paragraph and I thought her style was sublime. There are clues dropped like pebbles into a pool that reverberate throughout the story, with red herrings and cliff hangers that whirl through the text so that I was compelled to read on. I found my head spinning with revelations and my skin crawling at some of the descriptions so that reading The Chalk man was an active and physical experience rather than the more passive one we expect.
The plot of The Chalk Man is so sneaky. Just when I thought I had a grasp on exactly what was happening the sands shifted and I found another aspect skewed the truth. Without giving anything away, I found the ending for Ed even more chilling than some of the other, more visceral aspects. This is a book I’ll be thinking about for a very long time.
The characters are superbly depicted. C. J. Tudor has the most intimate understanding of what makes us human in all our frailties and she’s not afraid to show the malicious, the spiteful, the misguided and the vulnerable that lurk beneath the surface in different measures in all of us and make The Chalk Man such a compelling read. I thought the exploration of how we are shaped by coincidence, circumstance and others’ perceptions of who and what we are, was just perfect.
Another triumph for me alongside the fabulous plot and themes is the blurring of truth, perception and imagination. Ed’s nightmares and experiences serve as a Hitchcockesque psychological element that I adored. It is in these sections of the book that C.J Tudor is at her descriptive best so that I can see The Chalk Man being a book that will enthrall readers for decades.
I have seen comparisons between Stephen King and C. J. Tudor. I think they are very much deserved. I believe C. J. Tudor’s writing is brilliant and with The Chalk Man an absolute triumph of a book I can’t wait to read more. The Chalk Man is fantastic and C. J.Tudor is a rising star.
About C. J. Tudor
C. J. Tudor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham, where she still lives with her partner and young daughter. Her love of writing, especially the dark and macabre, started young. When her peers were reading Judy Blume, she was devouring Stephen King and James Herbert.
Over the years she has had a variety of jobs, including trainee reporter, waitress, radio scriptwriter, shop assistant, voiceover artist, television presenter, copywriter and now author.
The Chalk Man is her first novel.
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