In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy 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.
The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor
Publication Date: January 9, 2018 by Crown Publishing
One of my goals for 2018 is to focus more on reading books by female authors. I find that crime/psychological fiction is often dominated by male authors and since it is the genre I find myself most drawn to, I hope to be more conscientious about the thrillers I choose to read this year. Needless to say, I was ecstatic to get my hands on a copy of C.J. Tudor’s The Chalk Man this month!
This is such a fun read! I essentially read this book in one sitting because I was hooked in immediately. The Chalk Man has all the best elements of a crime fiction novel – an unreliable narrator, well-developed characters, and a murder that intertwines multiple characters and story lines. I particularly loved the format – chapters switch back and forth between the present in 2016 and the summer of the crime in 1986. There was a lot to dig through with the plot and I appreciated the subtle hints and nuances that the author leaves as the novel progresses.
The Chalk Man is also not so straightforward in plot either – I particularly loved the twists that Tudor included at the end of the novel since it made me question everything I had previously learned through the narrator’s point of view. Very similar to Catherine Burns’ The Visitors , Tudor’s novel is a fast-paced, psychological thriller with layers of plot twists and untrustworthy characters.
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.