TITLE: The Chalk Man
AUTHOR: C.J. Tudor
Quote: “However, even as a kid, I could sense the anger - the venom - of those protesters. Something about their eyes, the spittle that exploded from their mouths, the way they brandished their banners like weapons. They were chanting a lot of stuff about love but they seemed full of hate.”
Overview: Eddie and his friends, kids on the verge of adolescence in 1986, spend their days biking around the small English town they live in. Like many kids their age, they look for trouble, lie to their parents and have their own secret language. The chalk men, stick figures drawn in different colored chalk, are their secret language. Certain color chalk, and drawings in certain places, become messages between friends. But one day, a mysterious chalk man leads Eddie and his group of friends into the woods where they discover a dismembered body.
Thirty years later, in 2016, Eddie gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. His friends receive the same and they brush it off as a prank, until one of them is found dead. Eddie must find out what happened all those years ago in order to save himself.
The story alternates each chapter between 1986 and 2016 leaving the reader with a cliffhanger at the end of most chapters.
Analysis: The Chalk Man is a fast-paced novel that leaves the reader wanting to read more and more as the story progresses. The book is filled with suspense, suspicious characters and satisfying plot twists throughout. As the pages turn, the reader is thrust into a world of unanswered questions and what seems like limitless mystery.
Although this is a debut novel, C.J. Tudor’s book reads like an established author releasing another bestseller. The writing was captivating and the use of suspense made me read this in record time. It’s one of those books that causes you to put everything else in your life on pause so that you can find the answers to the mysteries plaguing Eddie and the sleepy English town he grew up in and still lives in. As far as crime thrillers and psychological thrillers go, this should be high up on your 2018 tbr list.
Conclusion : For a captivating fast-paced thriller by a debut author, pick this book up ASAP.
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