For nearly two years, I’ve been on a mission to read the books on my “to read” shelves. I can count on one hand the number of books I’ve purchased since the beginning of last year. And yet it’s still shocking that I have dozens of books I haven’t cracked open since purchasing them (sorry, 1984.)
Last weekend, I started The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor. Since I don’t often read thrillers, I wasn’t expecting much from this debut novel, but the synopsis on the dust jacket seemed interesting and I was in the mood for something creepy.
The Chalk Man is divided into two time frames. In the summer of 1986, a group of teenage friends begin drawing chalk men throughout their neighborhood to communicate with one another. When they notice several white chalk men leading them into the forrest, they follow them, and discover a dismembered body. Questions arise as to who would kill this girl, but when the main suspect commits suicide, the case is put to rest. Thirty years later, the narrator, Eddie, reconnects with an old friend who is convinced he knows who the real killer is. Eddie begins to question his own experiences and decisions he and his friends made in the past.
The book is a bit slow starting off, but the last 50 pages are so filled with plot twists that it was a very exciting read. I think I’ll revisit this in a couple of months because Tudor tied everything together so perfectly at the ending, there’s bound to be foreshadowing I completely missed.
*** I do feel I should include a Trigger Warning because there’s a very graphic rape scene in the book. As someone who’s quite sensitive to depictions of sexual violence, I wish I had skipped over that section because it’s absolutely horrific. If you have the hardback edition, it will fall around pages 66- 71.
The Chalk Man. C.J. Tudor. Crown Publishing Group, 2018.