Review: The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor


Pub date: 
January 9th 2018
Buy: Amazon
Rating: 5 stars


In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy little 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.


Ghosts didn’t exist in daylight, or zombies. They only existed in that sleepy hollow between midnight and dawn, crumbling to dust at the sun’s first rays. Or so, at the age of twelve, I still believed.

Prepare for some gushing, y’all, because this is one of the best thrillers I’ve read in awhile.

This was a really fresh, unique take on a psychological thriller that didn’t follow a formula like anything else out there. It’s difficult to find a unique plot these days, and while this one has been done before, it’s never been told in this way which is why I believe it deserves all 5 stars.

This author is one to keep an eye on, mark my words. CJ Tudor (a female author) has told a coming of age story of a 12 year old boy surrounded by tragedy and mystery in a highly convincing way, and in a way like nothing I’ve seen before. There were constantly points being alluded to, but never fully spelled out for the reader – we all loved how the author “shows” rather than “tells”. She is tricky, this author, and will keep you guessing until the very end, and even then you’ll be shaking your head and uttering “what just happened.”

This was such a creepy, twisty tale, alternating between 1986 and 2016. The 80’s references were fabulous, the characters were believable, and the whodunnit aspect of the story is like nothing I’ve ever read.

The prologue will suck you in right away (super creepy!) and there is one highly uncomfortable bullying scene, but otherwise this author manages to scare you without a ton of graphic violence (though there is some, I am
sensitive to this and I got through it ok).

I am having a difficult time putting into words how unique this book is without giving away any spoilery, however I highly, highly recommend this to fans of thrillers. Read it now. And let me know what you think later.

This was my first group read with the Traveling Sisters and I’m SO glad I was able to join in on this particular book – it brought out elements that I wouldn’t have noticed without ongoing discussion and I’m so thankful to have joined this group of lovely reviewers!

Thank you to Netgalley, C.J. Tudor (you have a new fan!) and Crown Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Holly B / Dressedtoread · November 2, 2017

    Can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

    Liked by 1 person

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