Title: The Chalk Man by CL Tudor
Date Published: 11th January 2018
You can feel it in the woods, in the school and in the playground; you can feel it in the houses and at the fairground. You can feel it in most places in the small town of Anderbury . . . the fear that something or someone is watching you.
It began back in 1986, at the fair, on the day of the accident. That was when twelve-year-old Eddie met Mr Halloran – the Chalk Man.
He gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages for his friends and it was fun, until the chalk men led them to a body.
Thirty years later, Ed believes the past is far behind him, until an envelope slips through the letterbox. It contains a stick of chalk, and a drawing of a figure.
Is history going to repeat itself?
Was it ever really over?
Will this game only end in the same way?
You can read my previous Bedtime Book Review, Black Eyed Susans, here.
So I saw this book last year on NetGalley but I was turned down by the publisher to get an advanced copy (I’m not bitter…honest) so I just had to buy a copy for myself. This was before all the furore when Stephen King said if you like my stuff then you’ll like this. As I saw all the praise and the hype surrounding it, I know this will sound a bit weird, but it put me off reading it a little. I’ve been disappointed in the past by books that have had a lot of hype but I’m happy to say this was not the case, this book actually surpassed my expectations.
The story is split between 1986 and 2016, revolving around Ed and his friends, Nicki, Fat Gav, Metal Mickey and Hoppo. After a fairground accident Ed meets a new teacher to the area, Mr Halloran otherwise known as the chalk man due to his pale skin and white blonde hair. He gives the group the idea of drawing a secret code with chalk but chalk men keep popping up when bad things happen, until they lead them to a body.
I got completely lost within this book, so much so that I forgot to write notes, (sounds a bit anal but I have the memory of a sieve!), so if this review is brief then you’ll know why.
I’m not going to give this amazing and complex novel it’s due in this little review. It’s creepy, yet haunting, I stayed up way too long after finishing just thinking about the ending (a downside I’ve found about reading before bed).
Having just watched the movie IT, I can understand where a lot of Stephen King comparisons come from,.i.e. a group of young(ish) kids coming of age against a backdrop of violence but thankfully this novel doesn’t have the evil clown.
I know some people may not be a fan of the jumping from 1986 to 2016 but it to me it added real depth to the story, adding to the mystery. I enjoyed finding out about older Ed, a slightly disillusioned adult, haunted by the past with a drinking problem compared to the more carefree younger Eddie.
I will warn you there are some upsetting scenes, especially one between young Eddie and his bully Metal Mickey’s older brother Sean. Then there was the nightmares, no I’d say they were more night terrors, as in they were super scary!
Overall a really memorable and haunting story that I can’t do just justice to with this review, you’ll just have to read it and see for yourself!
About The Author:
C. J. Tudor lives in Nottingham, England with her partner and three-year-old daughter.
Over the years she has worked as a copywriter, television presenter, voiceover and dog-walker. She is now thrilled to be able to write full-time, and doesn’t miss chasing wet dogs through muddy fields all that much.
THE CHALK MAN is her first novel.
Up Next on Bedtime Book Reviews: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.
Also a little note, I’m unable to comment on other people blogs at the moment as either my comments are spammed or automatically deleted.