The Chalk Man

The Chalk Man

A Novel

Book - 2018
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Three decades after his circle of friends is traumatized by the discovery of a murder victim while passing secret messages through a chalk-figure code of their invention, Eddie finds himself targeted by an unknown adversary who is using their former communication methods to torment and kill his friends.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Doubleday Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited, ©2018.
ISBN: 9780385690072
Characteristics: 280 pages ;,24 cm


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Jan 25, 2020

4 star read. This was Tudor's debut novel and it is surprisingly good. Eddie and his band of misfit friends roam the woods near their homes in England back in 1986. They are all relative innocents and typical adolescents. The chalk men start out as their secret code-a way to leave messages for each other in plain sight. But some one knows the code and one day they follow the chalk men signs and discover the body of a young girl they know in the woods This changes their lives. In 2016, Eddie is a bachelor teacher living a boring life and drinking far too much, He gets a letter containing a chalk man message and soon finds out that his mates have all received one too. When one of his friends dies, he knows that he needs to find out what happened in the past and who sent the messages to keep himself and his friends safe. A very good read with lots of twists and turns.

Dec 20, 2019

The message on the cover from Stephen King makes it clear: This is dark stuff. Mysteries abound, not just whodunit but why? And what role has been played by others? And those chalk figures: are they just the work of kids or is something sinister afoot? More deaths ensue, each surrounded by its own mystery. To complicate matters, we’re presented with a protagonist who is obviously an ‘unreliable narrator’; people are not necessarily who or what they appear to be and all assumptions about what has been happening must be questioned. A cleverly contrived plot alternating between time periods 30 years apart, was effective and well executed.
This is not the sort of material I often read, so I don’t have a ready scale of similar works to compare it with. I will therefore judge it on conventional attributes of character development (3/5); plot (4/5); atmosphere (2/5); literary merit (2/5) and entertainment value (4/5). Taken all together: 3+

Oct 02, 2019

This was a really good read with a lot of interesting characters from when they were kids to when they are grown up and how each of their lives has been effected. It turns into a murder mystery early on when Sean, Mickey's brother is found dead in the river and then another murder takes place around the same time. They never find out who the killer is until the end when another murder occurs when the gang is all grown up. What was the point of the Chalkman? I haven't a clue...

Jul 10, 2019

A good, creepy vibe throughout. Not the best written novel, and some of the dialogue is just plain bad. I did enjoy how the story alternates between 1986 and 2016. It felt like the author was trying to write a Stephen King novel, replete with a group of misfit kids and his trademark, completely unbelievable bullies that escalate to raping a twelve year old boy. Despite the negatives, I still mostly enjoyed this debut novel, and will probably read her next one.

Mar 19, 2019

CJ Tudor’s The Chalk Man was disappointing despite its promising premise. Set in a small fictional UK town, mysterious chalk drawings foreshadowing murders appear immediately before the gruesome crimes are discovered. At the center of the novel is a group of kids (It/Stand By Me/Stranger Things-style) living through these events in the 80s and trying to piece things together in present time.

This “horror/thriller” is mostly boring and very slow as no crimes even happen in the first 100 pages (out of a 277-page book). Once things finally start happening, it’s all very choppy with too many of the mysterious events crammed into the last part of the book. It’s also not well-written. I get that half of the book is told from the perspective of a 12-year-old but the pseudo-intellectual philosophizing was too much after lines like “secrets are like a**holes, we all have them,” “death is final,” and “Rumors are like germs, they spread and multiply” appearing in most chapters. Deep. What was most annoying, however, was that most of the book felt like an It rip-off. For those familiar with Stephen King novel, The Chalk Man features an identical replica of The Losers Club fully equipped with “a hot tomboy redhead girl,” “the nerdy kid,” a character called “Fat Gav,” and some psychotic bullies. Reading this book, I couldn’t help feeling that I’ve already experienced a far more compelling version of this story before.

Mar 19, 2019

very good read although the ending is quite contrived. good characters, very good plot. While it could be put in the mystery genre, it is not the usual police detective type.

Nov 19, 2018

Best book I’ve read in a while. I’ve seen reviews that said the ending wasn’t believable, etc. but this is fiction! If you’re looking for a thriller that keeps you hooked from page one, that has twists and turns and an insane final revelation (in my opinion), then read this book. The second I finished, I immediately called my sister to tell her to read it. Five stars!

Jul 31, 2018

A decent book I guess. Certainly not the next great British mystery. I reread the last 3 pages to make sure I had read it correctly the first time and really to try to figure out why it was important to include that part. I would read her next one I think.

Jun 16, 2018

Great premise, interesting collection of well-designed characters, and strong writing throughout -- there is no doubt that first-time novelist Tudor has the chops to build a great novel. But plot and story, story and plot. They just don't hold up in this first book, and in the end cripple what started out as a compelling read. By the midpoint I was down to two possible solutions, neither of which was particularly intriguing (I was also correct, which is disappointing in and of itself). By the end, when the previously announced twist announced itself, the reading experience was more about commitment to reaching the end than anything close to intrigue or even curiosity.

JenniferG_OshLib Jun 11, 2018

I give this book a solid 3.5 stars. There’s a subtle creepiness to it that runs all the way through the book. Sometimes you feel like you know the answers, and then sometimes you don’t. That’s what makes it a good mystery. I suppose some readers will figure it out, but I didn’t. Ed is an interesting character—I sympathize with him, but another part couldn’t figure out why he just wouldn’t move on. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys slow-building mysteries with a good twist.

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