Funny how people always repeat that word, even though they know they’ve heard it correctly. A kind of denial by delay.”
In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy 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 one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever 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 that his friends got the same message, 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.
The Chalk Man is a psychological thriller novel, one of my favorite genres. This story plays in two different timelines, Eddie’s past and present and the author has successfully blended the two timelines. The book has a Stranger Things vibe to it with all the kids just having fun and then all those creepy things start happening. Sounds like Stephen King’s IT, doesn’t it? This book did remind me of Stephen King. C.J. Tudor claims to be a King fan, so it’s obvious where she gets the inspiration from.
It wasn’t a perfect 5 for me. The book was a little slow and had plot holes. A particular incident was left unexplained. You will notice it when you read the book. Plot holes bug me and the climax was something I had anticipated, so it wasn’t much of a surprise. Somewhere this book lacked that punch I was waiting for. Also the characters. The protagonist and his connections to all those people meant nothing, especially the teacher.
Overall, the book was a quick, fun read, perfect for a lazy afternoon. I loved the setting and the 80s vibe the book had. I particularly enjoy this type of character selection for creepy books, a group of kids. A child has more imagination power than an adult because it’s still raw. It is not yet forced into the mold of reality, making you trust only what your eyes show you. And that makes it’s scarier when you read or watch some creepy stuff from a child’s perspective. The idea behind the book was unique and I enjoy the way C.J. Tudor writes. I am looking forward to reading more books from her.