Friday, January 12, 2018

The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor | Review, Giveaway & Blog Tour

The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor
Published: January 9, 2018
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Pages: 280
Received: via publisher and TLC Book Tours for honest review
Find Online: Goodreads | Amazon | Books-A-Million | B&N

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.

I've been on a mystery/thriller kick lately, so The Chalk Man was right up my alley and it was such a great start to my 2018 reading year. 

The story is told with flashbacks - every other chapter is the present and alternates with the past. I enjoyed the way the story was unfolding while switching back and forth. You had glimpses of what happened to Eddie and his friends when they were young all while trying to solve the mystery that has eluded everyone for almost 30 years. 

Eddie and his band of misfit friends have the most interesting summer of their lives when an accident happens at the fair, a boy drowns in the river, chalk drawings appear everywhere and a young girl's body is found in the woods. There are quite a few people that instantly make the suspect list, but some seemed too easy to blame and others too far fetched. I loved that you unraveled a little bit here and there while the story flashes back and forth.

At times, I wasn't sure who the murderer would be and who caused some of the other bad things to happen. I wondered if it was the same person, a set of people or completely unrelated. The story really had me thinking and guessing and I love when a book can do that. Many books tend to be easy to figure out, but The Chalk Man really got me. I was constantly changing my mind on what happened and making guesses on what would happen next. You'll have to read for yourself to see if everything was linked, how it all fit together and who actually was the bad guy/guys this time around. I thought it was completely wrapped up at the end, but that last little chapter changed everything!

Who knew a story could evolve from a bucket of chalk? Inspiration can come from the most random of places and I am so glad this one was written. The use of the chalk drawings added an extra creepy element to the story and each time they appeared either past or present I became anxious to know who was drawing them and why.


About the Author: 
C. J. Tudor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham, where she still lives with her partner and young daughter.

She left school at sixteen and has had a variety of jobs over the years, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, shop assistant, ad agency copywriter and voiceover.

She’s been writing since she was a child but only knuckled down to it properly in her thirties. Her English teacher once told her that if she ‘did not become Prime Minister or a best-selling author’ he would be ‘very disappointed.’

The Chalk Man was inspired by a tub of chalks a friend bought for her daughter’s second birthday. One afternoon they drew chalk figures all over the driveway. Later that night she opened the back door to be confronted by weird stick men everywhere. In the dark, they looked incredibly sinister. She called to her partner: ‘These chalk men look really creepy in the dark . . .’-source


  1. Sure, I'm a fan of stories that jump back and forth from past to present. But I don't necessarily find it helpful in unraveling the story. I think that this is a device authors use to add suspense.

  2. Unfortunately, I don't tweet so can't enter the majority of this contest.

    1. There are other just a on the tour that are giving away copies as well. If you follow TLC Book Tours you can find links to all of the blogs. Cheers! I'll keep this in mind for future giveaways.

  3. I don't mind the back and forth, but really love it when it ties a story together.


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