Wednesday 13 December 2017

The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor @cjtudor @MichaelJBooks @GabyYoung #Chalkman

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

The Chalk Man by C J Tudor is published on 11 January 2018 in hardback by Michael Joseph Books. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

Oh my goodness! The Chalk Man, the bloody chalk man.  This has to be one of the creepiest, cleverest debuts that I've read for many a year. I was completely and utterly gripped by this ingenious story, packed with characters that leap from the page, involved in a plot that is utterly compelling.

The Chalk Man is narrated by Eddie and begins with a chilling prologue that sets the pace for the rest of the story. In 1986, Eddie and his group of mates were aged between eleven and thirteen; four boys and a girl. Pretty average kids who liked to tease, to ride their bikes and to go to the fair. The fairground becomes the focal point of Eddie's story; that one day when the girl he christens 'waltzer girl' bursts into his life, and thirty years later she is still the subject of his dreams.

CJ Tudor nips back and forth from the 80s to the present day with ease and the reader is witness to Eddie's coming of age. We know what happened to make him the man he becomes; we learn about his friends, his enemies and his family, and we learn about the Chalk Man.

Whilst The Chalk Man clearly focuses on murder and violence, it is not the epicentre of this incredibly told story. No, this author develops friendships and relationship that are intricately created, with such style and such authority - is this really a debut? Woven gently into the horrors and the trauma; the breakdowns, the deaths and the betrayals is a dark humour that adds another depth to the novel and makes her characters more lovable, more believable and just actually, more brilliant!

Absolutely packed with reveals and suspense and surprises, I am positive that The Chalk Man is going to be a huge hit for this talented author. I am very excited about this book and can't wait to see what CJ Tudor comes up with for her next novel. An utter bloody triumph!

CJ 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.

Find her Author page on Facebook 
Follow her on Twitter @cjtudor

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