Monday, September 30, 2019

Audio Book Review: The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor book cover and review
The Chalk Man did keep me guessing until the end. And that's a good thing!

Eddie is our narrator, using a dual timeline -- his childhood in 1986 and the present in 2016. Eddie has a close-knit group of friends that get in all sorts of predicaments, as children will. When one of the group gets chalk for his birthday, these clever kids devise a language of secret chalk man symbols that they draw on the sidewalk outside each other's houses to send coded messages. Each member of the group has their own color.

One day, the messages send them all into the woods, where they find the body of a dead girl. The presumed murderer is their albino teacher, who has befriended Eddie, so this is troubling, to say the least.

In 2016, Eddie, who still lives in the same sleepy town barely keeps in touch with a couple of the group. Until they all end up getting notes containing the chalk man. Then one of the group dies under mysterious circumstances. Is the murderer still out there? Is he coming after the group for fear that they might know more? Eddie is compelled to find the truth.

There is a bit of a supernatural element, but very light. Eddie has dreams (or is he awake?) where some of the dead people appear. I thought this added to the story and was not over the top. The Chalk Man meanders a bit in the middle but ramps up the tension nicely at the end. There is an interesting resolution. Even though it totally makes sense, I never saw that coming. Well--it doesn't all make sense but that just adds to the intrigue.

The audiobook was well done by Euan Morton. The variation in voices was good and not overpowering. I, as usual, sped up the narration.

Stephen King gave The Chalk Man big props. It does have a resemblance to The Body aka Stand By Me, although it has been years since I've read that. I didn't find it quite as much of a page-turner, but definitely easy to get through.

Published by Crown, 2018, Random House Audio, 2018
audiobook obtained from the library
288 pages

Rating: 4/5

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1 comment:

  1. I love the concept of the chalk men drawings acting as a code among friends and to get one later in life.... Well done to get the mystery flowing.


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