The Chalk Man
By: C.J. Tudor
ISBN: 9781524760984 Hardcover
Published: January 9th, 2018 by Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Genre: Suspense Thriller
Rating: 3/5 stars
“For who are we if not the sum of our experiences, the things that we gather and collect in life? Once you strip those away we become just a mass of flesh, bone and blood vessels.”
You are following Eddie and many others in the town of Anderbury, during the years of 1986 and 2016. It starts back in 1986, at a fair, where Eddie meets a man named Mr. Halloran who helps him out during an accident. This man gives him the idea to use chalk as a way to communicate with his friends, but it ends up leading Eddie and his friends to a body. After 30 years Eddie believes that it’s all over until he finds a letter that contains a stick of drawing and the drawing of a stick figure.
This is Tudor’s debut novel, and I’m quite impressed although you can tell. The synopsis is intriguing but the writing and execution lacked a little bit. I did read it in one whole day, but I wasn’t blown away. When I read a suspense thriller I want to be knocked off my seat when I read the ending, and I feel like that’s the point, right?
I don’t know if anyone else had this problem, but I found myself becoming confused after a while of flip-flopping between years. It was easy to distinguish the years in the beginning but towards the end I sometimes had to look back and see what year we were in. Obviously there are context clues within the section I’m not that big of an idiot. With mysteries though I do enjoy jumping back and forth. I think it builds anticipation without actually making the story longer. She managed it really well, I thought.
I couldn’t really connect with any of the characters, but I don’t read a book in hopes of connecting with every single character. I will sometimes fall in love with an unlikable character, but it doesn’t mean I connect with them personally. There wasn’t a lot of development with any of the characters, but that didn’t take away from the story. I will say that there was a good balance of plot and description. I tend to get bored with books that only focus on one or the other.
Overall I thought this book was okay. It wasn’t exceptional by any means, but I think if you are interested in reading it then go for it! It won’t hurt anything. There are some parts that deal with sexual harassment so if that’s a problem then you may not want to. Either way I thought it was a pretty solid read and a solid first novel for C.J. Tudor.
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