A Notable Thriller Debut: The Chalk Man By C.J. Tudor
In the new debut novel The Chalk Man, author C.J. Tudor takes readers on a thrilling journey through the characters’ damaged psyche in a first person narration style that alternates between past and present.
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 to communicate with each other. In a nutshell, these chalk men are 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 their world changes forever.
Flash forward to 2016, Eddie is fully grown and is a teacher in the same village. He thinks he has 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 cold be a prank. However, after one of them turns up dead, Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.
There are reasons why we we were impressed with this novel: Apart from intriguing plot, characters are fully fleshed out in flashbacks and the present day. The author ends each chapter with a cliffhanger and the twists at the end of the story surprise even the savviest readers.
C.J. Tudor is a talented author and her dark, twisty thriller a notable piece of fiction.
Combining a present day narrative with flashbacks to the eighties is a smart move in the book: Eighties, specially for people who spent their childhood in this decade, is a very vivid and colorful period. The cloth, the music, the television shows and the accelerating changes in the social and political arenas all around the world make this period an exciting backdrop for a novel.
Overall, this a quality thriller and the fans of dark, twisty stories will be satisfied with this title.