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Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - January 9th, 2018
A grisly murder in the past draws a chalk line around the future of four 12-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 30 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.