Review of The Chalk Man

Posted January 18, 2018 by Stormi in Book Reviews / 7 Comments

Review of The Chalk Man

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor
Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Published by Crown Publishing Group (NY) on January 9th 2018
Pages: 280
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

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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.

First Line

Start at the beginning.

Here is what I thought

So this one was on my most anticipated list and everyone I know raved about it but I feel like I must have read the wrong book cause I didn’t really like it that much. It makes me feel a bit ranty and I don’t like that.

It’s told in the POV of Eddie (Ed) from alternating timelines of 1986 and 2016. It’s about a group of friends who are about twelve years old. You have your basic fat boy, jerk, nerd and quiet one, plus a girl. It starts out with a prologue about a dead girl, then starts in 2016, which is 30 years later. Ed is a teacher and he gets a chalk figure in the mail and then a visit from an old friend.

In the 1986 timeline we get to know the group enough to know I am not a fan of them at all. They each have their own set of issues and it was hard to see how they ever became friends and easy to see how they could drift apart. All the information dump was leading up to the discovery of a body in the woods and the chalk drawings that led them there.

In 2016, I didn’t like Ed any more as an adult. He was kind of pathetic and weird. Just like he was as a kid only grown. It was during this timeline that we start piecing together some things of the past which leads to the discovery of who killed the girl back in 1986 and who killed the recent person who was one of them. Can’t say as I am trying not to spoil anything.

Several times I almost just gave up on this book, it was so boring. I thought I was getting a suspenseful book and that The Chalk Man was like some huge thing and it wasn’t. I pretty much guessed most of the plot points, even who put the chalk  leading to the woods. I figured out who the killer was but because of certain things wasn’t to sure how it was done but should have known.

I think because I didn’t like Eddie the kid or Ed the adult that much that I really just didn’t care about things that happened. Some things felt like so much filler, I just wanted them to find the body. I didn’t care about a lot of the other things and I guess that is why it bored me. I felt no thrill or suspense and by the end I was just like get to the reveal so I can see if I am right and how it all happened. I think the one big surprise was who killed their friend in the 2016 timeline.

This was obviously just not a book for me. I totally wanted to love it but didn’t and that happens. All my favorite bloggers I follow who has read it thought it was great, so you might too. I think maybe it’s cause I thought it was going to be different, in my mind I had a different storyline out of that blurb…lol. I don’t know but it was just meh. I am glad I finished it but it won’t be on any favorite list for me.

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7 responses to “Review of The Chalk Man

  1. You know I’m mainly reading this one now because of you 🙂 Even though I’m not that far in I can totally see why you don’t like Eddie/Ed. The only reason I may make this one through better than you is because I like the alternating timeline thing. We’ll see how it all pans out for me.

  2. I’m still on the fence about this one. With so many other books waiting for me to read them, I’ll probably pass on it. Liked your thoughts about this one, Stormi.

  3. I’ve seen great reviews for this one too. I haven’t decided if I’m going to try it yet. This reminds me a bit of IT. Story of kids as misfits and then at least one of them as an adult. I would expect a lot of suspense in this story too. I’m sorry this one didn’t work for you.

  4. I guess I liked this read a bit more than you did. I did find the main protagonist a bit pathetic. I didn’t really enjoy the big reveal but I do enjoy an unreliable narrator. I guess that is the difference for me. Great review though. I think you really explained what didn’t work for you. Thanks for sharing your honest review!

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