Looking back, it all started on the day of the fair and the terrible accident. When twelve-year-old Eddie first met the Chalk Man.
It was the Chalk Man who gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages between his group of friends.
And it was fun, to start with, until the figures led them to the body of a young girl.
Most of it, at any rate.
That was thirty years ago and Ed thought the past was behind him. Then he receives a letter containing just two things: a piece of chalk, and a drawing of a stick figure.
As history begins to repeat itself, Ed realises the game was never over…
Everyone has secrets
Everyone is guilty of something
And children are not always so innocent
“The Chalk Man is coming and there’s nothing you can do to stop him. Tense, skilful storytelling and plenty of horror.”
“It’s been a while since I’ve read such an impressive debut. The pace was perfectly judged, with a lovely feel of Stand By Me about the 1986 scenes and beguiling nostalgia in the contemporary narrative, all mixed in with a creeping sense of unease that starts with the Prologue and grows throughout the book. The characters were superbly drawn – not too much physical description but wonderful interplay between the five young friends and their adult selves. And then that ending…. Generally speaking I’ve either enjoyed something and want to recommend it to all my friends, or haven’t and don’t much want to talk about it. The Chalk Man definitely falls into the former category, and it deserves to be a huge success. It feels so fresh…. I’ll be telling everyone else to read it when it comes out in January.”
“CJ Tudor has written an utterly original novel—a thriller in which the suspense comes not simply from what happens, but from that dark place within the human mind from which all the greatest mysteries and terrors emerge. This one will hold you in its grip to the last page.”
“What an amazing debut! Such an ingenious, original idea. I was engrossed from the very first page. I loved how the 1986 and present day storylines weaved so skilfully together to create that unforgettable and unexpected ending. Compelling, taut and so very, very chilling. This book will haunt you!”
“In The Chalk Man, C.J. Tudor brilliantly weaves past and present into a haunting, vividly imagined tale. Much more than a murder mystery, it is a sharp, terrifying exploration of the bonds and limitations of childhood friendships and of secrets that refuse to remain buried. I fell in love with the guiding voice of this novel, the thoughtful and solitary Eddie. Prepare to be surprised again and again, even until the final page.”
“I absolutely loved The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor! It’s a dark, mesmerising thriller with an ending that left me with goosebumps!”
“The Chalk Man” is an unpredictable and engaging thriller: sinister, tragic, and with a beautifully rendered sense of time and place. That final page still haunts me”
“Absolutely brilliant. I was enthralled from start to finish. I was expecting a creepy horror story that I’d have to read with all the lights on but this book is so much more than that – it’s witty, insightful, clever, thoughtful, mysterious, gripping, nostalgic and utterly compelling. Publishers often talk about ‘an exciting new voice in fiction’ and I genuinely think CJ Tudor is going to be huge. This book has bestseller written all over it and if it doesn’t go to number one I will eat my crime writing hat.”
“The grip the past has on the present reveals itself in ever more sinister and macabre ways in this utterly original and relentlessly compelling psychological thriller. The Chalk Man kept me guessing all the way to the end.”
“C.J. Tudor bursts onto the scene with a page-turning thriller that draws simple but terrifying lines about evil and the haunting nature of childhood. Flip open the first page and you’ll curl up all night.”
“An absorbing debut with a well-crafted mystery and a solid dose of Stand by Me creepiness.”
“A band of preteens in a quaint English village in the late 1980s confront true evil and grapple with the lifelong consequences in this gripping debut mystery/thriller… Readers who relish dark, twisty thrillers will be kept guessing. Taut plotting, smooth writing, and a compelling premise will satisfy fans of Jo Nesbo, Camilla Lackberg, and Tana French.”