The Chalk Man was published by Michael Joseph (Penguin) on the 11th of January 2018. C. J. Tudor is represented by Madeleine Milburn at Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency.
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 each other as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing will ever be 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 his other friends got the same messages, 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.
THIS BOOK!!! There’s nothing quite like finishing a book and feeling like you’ve read something truly special. The fact that The Chalk Man is C. J. Tudor’s debut novel is beyond me. What a talent! The Chalk Man drew me in from the very first page, it’s beautifully written and the story is just so damn clever.
The nature of the story is complex (in the right way). I didn’t find it hard to keep up, and C. J. Tudor has thought of every last little piece of detail. The characterisation of this book is astonishing; I felt a connection to them all and I found myself incredibly invested in the story. The little gang reminded me a bit of the lot from Stranger Things, and they all felt so vivid and so alive. The Chalk Man really is unique and unlike anything I’ve read before.
This review is very difficult to write as there’s just no way I can do the book justice. Just READ IT. If you only read one book this year, or in your whole lifetime, even, please let it be The Chalk Man – I promise you won’t regret it.
★ 5/5 – I’d give The Chalk Man a hundred stars if I could. It’s without doubt one of the best books I’ve ever read.