Blurb: None of us ever agreed on the exact beginning. Was it when we started drawing the chalk figures, or when they started to appear on their own? Ws it the terrible accident? Or when they found the first body?
Title: The Chalk Man
Author: C. J. Tudor
Publisher: Penguin Books, owned by Penguin Random House
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Psychological
This book follows the main character, Ed’s, journey of realization and discovery when it comes to a mysterious murder that was committed back when he was a boy. Piece by piece we come to understand the inner workings of the town of Anderbury and how a series of seemingly separate events led to the murder and dismemberment of a young girl. A truly chilling read, which made me think about how we never truly know what people are capable of.
First off, I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. It had me gripped from the very start, not wanting to put it down. I was desperate to find out who the killer was and why they did such an awful thing. This book was very well written, skipping between the present day and 1986 to keep the story going, keeping us guessing about what happened. Events in the present linking to the past is a really interesting way to add pieces to this investigation for the reader while not giving away everything at once. I love a book that keeps me guessing, that I can’t figure out the ending to, and this one was exactly like that. I felt that the characters were well explained and their personalities were explored, giving them real depth. As a side note, I also loved the production of this book. The sprayed edges, the perfect use of the chalk-like font on the cover, and also how the spine is just littered with chalk men rather than a title like most books. Being able to recognise a book on a shelf by just these drawings is a really cool idea and not something that I’ve seen before.
On the other hand, as for what I disliked about this book, there is only one main thing. The ending left me with more questions than answers, I felt. In particular, the ending made me question Ed’s habit of collecting things. Without giving too many spoilers, this aspect of the story seems like something small throughout most of the plot but the last thing that we hear he collected is so much more important. It made me wonder how his thing of picking up buttons and the like graduated to something so big. If you’ve read this book I’d love to know what you think about this!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I loved how gripping it was and that bits of the story were revealed in pieces, making the reader guess as to what might have happened or who the characters really were. I loved the tangled web of characters and how they all interacted with each other and would recommend this book to anyone who loves a murder mystery type thriller and doesn’t mind a bit of graphic storytelling.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Is it on your TBR list? I’d love to know!