Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor + a Giveaway

Hi, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for C. J. Tudor's The Chalk Man.

1986: Eddie and his friends were twelve years old the year the Chalk Man came into being. Between the five of them, it started as a way to send secret messages: leaving chalk men and symbols for each other in corresponding colors. And then chalk figures began showing up around town, alongside increasingly brutal crimes.  The year, and the crimes, hit a gruesome finale with the discovery of a beheaded girl's body. 

2016: Tthe chalk figures are back. Eddie receives a letter at the same time one of their group returns to town to discuss the possibility of writing a book about that terrible year. And then one of the old gang is found dead. It could be an accident, but a letter just like Eddie's is found on the body. Has the past returned to haunt Eddie and his friends? And if it has, will they finally be able to unmask the identity of the Chalk Man?

I quite enjoyed this one. When I started, I thought it was going to be a quick read - and indeed it begins with a scene that seemed to set the tone for a fast-paced and shockingly gory read. And yet, that really wasn't the case. After that scene, an accident at the town fair when Eddie is twelve, the book became a bit more of a slow burn.

Chapter alternate between past and present, with Eddie leading the way on a dark trip down memory lane. See the discovery of the girl's body would seem to be the worst a tween could possibly face, but unfortunately that's not true here. 1986 is a particularly bad year that has long lasting ramifications, not the least of which is Eddie's "collecting" habit.

Eddie also admits to having a bit of a drinking habit in 2016 as well. He's a teacher who's never married and lives in his childhood home with a lodger much younger than he is. He and two of the others remained in their hometown and occasionally meet up even though Eddie doesn't feel they're friends in the true sense of the word. And yet, they are inextricably linked by the happenings of 1986.

Which becomes even more clear as the book progresses.

Though I expected quick and got simmering instead, I found I loved the progressing build and the chance to spend more time with the book than I'd anticipated.

I should also add that this book has been on my radar for well over a year now. A little bird in the publishing industry mentioned it to me after having read it in manuscript form and I immediately added it to my must have list. That much lead time means a whole lot of expectation, so I'm very glad that the book was able to live up to that - of course, the bird in question has great taste, so I never doubted I would love it!

Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy to give away on the blog. To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, February 19. Open US only and no PO boxes please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on C. J. Tudor and her work you can like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


Kay said...

I've heard a lot of good things about this book. Saw comparisons to Stand By Me, etc. Think it sounds like one I'll like a lot. Now to find the time to read it, right?

Dan K said...

I love these types of books!

Danielle H. said...

I'm hearing more and more about this book and how it surprises people with how good it is. The premise intrigues me to check it out for myself.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour!

Tiffany Inman said...

The Chalk Man flittered across my radar a few months ago on Twitter. I think it was the author's beautiful and genuine smile that broke through my scroll and made me stop. She was holding one of her books and the image stuck. Then I read a summary. The story stuck. And hooked.

I cannot wait to read this book! So glad you are on the tour!

John Smith said...

Sounds like an intriguing plot! Thank goodness my life has been so dull!