I actually read something that wasn’t middle-grade, fantasy or sci-fi! I read a thriller!
The Chalk Man By C.J. Tudor
My Edition: BOTM Hardcover – 280 pages – 2018 – Crown – ISBN: 9781524760984
Twelve-year-old Eddie and his friends begin using little chalk men as signals to each other after one of them gets a box of chalks for their birthday. But one day the codes appear and none of the crew knows who left them. When they follow the trail of chalk men through the woods, the kids find a disembodied girl. 20 years later, Eddie has a drinking problem and hasn’t left his home town. When a note with a chalk man shows up, he rekindles his interest in the mystery of his childhood.
This book was certainly engaging, I’ll give it that.
I don’t read a lot of thrillers, as you m might know, so this might have impressed me a bit more than seasoned thriller connoisseurs. While I’m not quite sure if I was truly entertaining, I was definitely hooked by the plot. I barely put the book down and read the majority of it in one sitting.
I didn’t like or relate to any of the characters, nor did I care what happened to them. But following Eddie through his childhood and adulthood, through this murder-mystery-drama was easy enough.
This is a “small town” thriller, if that’s a thing. There are actually several plot lines that tie together throughout the book – this worked for me because it kept me from focusing too hard on trying to solve any of the mysteries. I like to be surprised at the end and I enjoy when a thriller or mystery keeps me so engaged that I don’t try very hard to figure out whodunit.
I was left with a few unanswered questions – questions I think I was just supposed to forget. But that’s ok – I wasn’t expecting a ground-breaking read here. I just wanted something entertaining and light and Chalk Man delivered. Also, the ending, like, the last two pages or so, really caught me by surprise and left me disgusted and confused. I kinda like that.
So if any of this sounds enticing, maybe check this one out! I can’t say it’s something I’ll rave about or suggest often, but if you’ve been eyeing it at the library or you have it on your shelves, I think it’s worth picking up.