The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

Chalk

This book has gotten mixed reviews but I am a fan, I liked it. If Tudor comes out with another novel I will certainly read it. There were places where the author would leave you with a cliffhanger but didn’t make you wait 50 pages to get back to it. Set in England and reminiscent of Stand by Me, five friends experience childhood pleasures of riding their bikes, exploring the woods, getting into scrapes, playing games and the usual.

This was before the cruel introduction of the internet and cell phones so kids actually played. And talked. Amazing, huh?

The mystery starts with chalk figures drawn around the village. Colored chalk was gifted to Fat Gav at his birthday party and this starts the appearance of chalk figures and coded messages. If one of the friends exited their house and the sidewalk was adorned by a blue chalk man with a circle, it meant to meet your friend in the playground. That sort of thing.

One day a chalk figure directed the five friends to the woods, leading them to a grisly discovery. A young woman was dismembered, the head missing, her body parts strewn and half hidden by the leaves. The kids flip out, understandably, go for the police and were never quite the same afterwards. There are many other supporting characters in this story such as our narrator David (one of the friends), the Reverend Martin, David’s mother who is a doctor and the subject of controversy for her clinic, David’s father who decks the preacher at Fat Gav’s party and bloodies his face over “inappropriate conversation” and Chloe (a character from 2016) who plays a part in the mystery.

There is actually more than one mystery and the people and actions all seem to tie together eventually. I had a few surprises in there and that’s always pleasant. No one wants to figure out the whodunit within the first quarter of a book.

The time period shifts between 1986 and 2016. It’s a creepy book yet a page turner.

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Author Bio

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program.  All opinions are mine and I was not compensated for this review.

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