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The Chalk Man: The Sunday Times bestseller. The most chilling book you'll read this year Paperback – 23 Aug 2018
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Wonderfully creepy - like a cold blade on the back of your neck (LEE CHILD)
The Chalk Man works, it's a lively and entertaining read . . . Tudor's got talent (The Times)
This assured debut is very much in the Stephen King vein - creepy with plenty of menace (The Guardian)
Hot damn C. J. Tudor's The Chalk Man is good. Very Stephen King-esque (Ruth Ware)
CJ Tudor's very clever, wrong-footing debut will leave you checking that doors and windows of your holiday cottage are secure . . . (Radio Times)
A striking debut (Sunday Times)
A tense gripper with a leave-the-lights-on shock ending (Sunday Times Crime Club)
You'll be gripped by this cracking debut novel . . . it will keep you up all night with all the lights on. This intriguing, satisfying thriller delivers a series of shocks . . . reminiscent of the master of horror Stephen King (Daily Express)
If you like my stuff, you'll like this (STEPHEN KING)
It's a very clever story - you'll love it! (Joanna Cannon)
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'Tense, skilful storytelling' Ali Land, bestselling author of Good Me Bad Me
'There's a creeping sense of unease that starts with the prologue and grows throughout the book. And then that ending!' James Oswald, bestselling author of the Inspector McLean series
'Gripping' Cecelia Ahern, bestselling author of P.S. I Love You
'A page-turning thriller that draws simple but terrifying lines about evil and the haunting nature of childhood' Julia Heaberlin, bestselling author of Black-Eyed Susans
'Completely engrossing. Puts me in mind of Stephen King's The Body' John Boyne, bestselling author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
'Impossible to put down, cleverly constructed and executed' Ragnar Jónasson, author of the bestselling Dark Iceland series
'Insightful, clever, thoughtful, mysterious, gripping, nostalgic and utterly compelling. This book has bestseller written all over it' C. L. Taylor, bestselling author of The Missing
'Compelling, taut and so very, very chilling. This book will haunt you!' Claire Douglas, bestselling author of Last Seen AliveSee all Product description
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There’s a group of children consisting of four boys and a girl. At one point of the story we have a rock fight between protagonists and antagonists. Chasing protagonists around with the urge to kill them. Similar playing ground area. More importantly the group of children have a person that loves joking around and impersonating people. And exactly the same time lapse of jumping between past and present. Now I have really enjoyed ‘It’ and couldn’t put it down. ‘The Chalk Man’ had me a little bit disappointed. I was expecting a gripping horror/thriller, but quite frankly, only got an interesting detective type book.
The book has a potential of being a very creepy, chilling story. Stick men in perspective are already quite unsettling – no face or facial expression, very basic. You might start questioning why these chalk men appear and who is behind their existence? It makes you feel like there is this big boogie man waiting for you in a dark corner, ready to consume the entirety of you. The book has some really interesting twists that might make you gasp and say ‘wow, I didn’t expect that’. It flows really consistently and therefore, is very easy to read. However ‘The Chalk Man’ left me wanting for a deeper more developed story. More background about chalk men.
Despite everything, I would say it is a very enjoyable read if you’ve never read ‘IT’ by Stephen King. The book is a nice introduction to a thriller type story, and does have well developed twists.
The book is told over two different time periods, in the 1980s and in the present day. In the 1980s Ed is twelve-years-old and hangs out with his group of mates: Hoppo, Mickey, Fat Gav and Nicky. But not everything is plain sailing for them and on the day of the terrible accident at the fair, when a young girl known to Ed as Waltzer girl has a horrific accident on a Waltzer cart and is rushed to hospital, things really do begin to take a dark turn for the group and they are never quite the same again. One summer, they use chalk men as secrets codes, as a way of messaging each other, but one day the chalk men leads them to a dead body and a horrific crime scene. In 2016, Ed is in his forties and lives alone with his lodger, a girl in her twenties called Chloe. It is in the present day that the truth about what really happened when they were kids begins to unravel. I don’t want to say too much more about the plot because I don’t want to spoil it for readers but it has to be a contender for one of my top reads of this year. C. J. Tudor delivers a stomach flipping twist at the end of this book which I did not see coming.
I really liked the characters in this book and C.J. Tudor made them all feel real. For me, a book has to have great and compelling characters to pull you into the story and this book certainly does. Once I finished the book I really wanted to know what happened to them after the final chapter and I’m still thinking about them all months after I read it.
The author also explores some interesting themes in this book, some of them are quite dark and there are some scenes in the book which are a little gory. C. J. Tudor writes these scenes really well and she really makes you feel for her characters as they find themselves in new predicaments.
Once you read the prologue in this book, you won’t be able to stop reading, I can envisage many people picking this book up in a bookshop and heading straight to the counter with it.