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A grisly murder in the past draws a chalk line around the future of four twelve-year-old boys, and Nicky, the only girl in their “Losers’ Club.” In this stunning debut thriller by C.J. Tudor, Eddie (Munster) meets the “Chalk Man” in 1986. The teacher, who suffers from albinism, helps Eddie save a girl’s life after a horrific accident at an amusement park, and inspires a secret code of chalk stick-figure men. When a series of chalk man clues lead to the dismembered body of a girl in the woods, the Chalk Man is assumed to be the killer. But thirty years later, the fab five are brought together by letters containing chalk figures that suggest the wrong man paid for the crime, and as Eddie tells us, children have their secrets. Fans of Stephen King’s “The Body” (Stand by Me), IT, and S.E. Hinton’s THE OUTSIDERS, will love the intimate characterization of the kids. Eddie’s hoarding and fetishism as an adult, show how PTSD can blossom into a poisoned garden. The grue is thick, the plot riveting. This haunting book will linger on the blackboard of your mind. –R.J. Crowther Jr.
“The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor is an unusually gripping mystery reminiscent of Arthur Conan Doyle's story 'The Adventure of the Dancing Men.' It is amazingly well-written, and the pace does not let up, from the shocking beginning all the way through to the unsettling ending. This suspenseful page-turner is definitely a cut above and will keep you riveted. Highly recommended!”
— Margo Conklin, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, RI
"I haven't had a sleepless night due to a book for a long time. The Chalk Man changed that." --Fiona Barton, New York Times bestselling author of The Widow"An assured debut that alternates between 1986 and 2016 with unpredictable twists. The Chalk Man fits well with other stories about troubled childhoods such as Stephen King's novella 'Stand by Me'... Tudor never misses a beat in showing each character as both a child and an adult while also exploring the foreboding environs of a small town." - Associated Press A riveting and relentlessly compelling psychological suspense debut that weaves a mystery about a childhood game gone dangerously awry, and will keep readers guessing right up to the shocking ending 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. Expertly alternating between flashbacks and the present day, The Chalk Man is the very best kind of suspense novel, one where every character is wonderfully fleshed out and compelling, where every mystery has a satisfying payoff, and where the twists will shock even the savviest reader.
About the Author
C. J. TUDOR lives in Nottingham, England, with her partner and three-year-old daughter. Over the years she has worked as a copywriter, television presenter, voice-over, and dog walker. She is now thrilled to be able to write full-time, and doesn't miss chasing wet dogs through muddy fields all that much. The Chalk Man is her first novel.