The Chalk Man has been on my radar for a long time, with lots of bloggers and readers and other writers shouting about it on Twitter. So I was very pleased to find a copy in my local library and to finally sit down and read it over the Christmas holiday. It’s a great package, with a very eerie cover and probably the best spine I’ve ever seen (there’s no title or author’s name, only a bunch of creepy chalk men!).
The story focuses on Eddie, a boy of about twelve who gets up to mischief with his friends the way any boy of his age does. But when he witnesses an accident at the local funfair – helping Mr Halloran, a teacher who is new to the area, to save a girl’s life – a chain of events unfolds that changes Eddie’s life for ever. I don’t want to say anything else about the plot because you need to read it with no spoilers, but what I can say is that there is never a dull moment in this seemingly quiet town! Eddie’s friends all come from different backgrounds and face the same struggles and challenges of any group of almost-teenagers, and when you throw in a bucket of chalk and mysterious drawings that appear on the driveway in the middle of the night, you’re definitely in for an interesting ride!
It’s a very quick read with plenty of twists, the last of which I definitely couldn’t have predicted! I think C. J. Tudor’s plotting is great and particularly towards the end I was really hooked as the tension mounted and all the ends were gradually tied up. I’d definitely be keen to read more of her work, so I’m excited for The Taking of Annie Thorne which is out in February – and with an equally brilliant cover!
Published by Michael Joseph, 2018