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Publisher's Summary

A riveting and brilliantly plotted psychological suspense, this whip-smart debut will keep listeners guessing right up to the shocking ending.

In 1986, Eddie and his friend are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy little English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for each other as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing will ever be the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he's put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out his other friends got the same messages, they think it could be a prank...until one of them turns up dead. That's when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.

Expertly alternating between flashbacks and the present day, The Chalk Man is the very best kind of suspense novel, one where every character is wonderfully fleshed out and compelling, where every mystery has a satisfying payoff, and where the twists will shock even the savviest listener.

©2018 C.J. Tudor (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Utterly hypnotic. The Chalk Man is a dream novel, a book of nightmares: haunted and haunting, shot through with shadow and light - a story to quicken the pulse and freeze the blood. A dark star is born." (A.J. Finn, author of The Woman in the Window)
"What a great book. A twisty thriller and downright creepy ending. Five stars." (Sarah Pinborough, New York Times best-selling author of Behind Her Eyes)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Sufficiently interesting and fast paced

After listening a while I almost felt like it was paying a bit of UK homage to Stephen King's IT. Lots of story similarities with regard to the characters. No clown and horror but I kept having that same vibe throughout the story. Plenty twisty and turny with a bit of surprise supernatural thrown in there. There was great character development too. I was made to believe the end was going to be holy-cow didn't see that coming but I was left a little - eh - ok, that makes sense, sounds reasonable. Welllll the last little bit WAS a bit of a shocker I guess but it was almost a second thought.

Overall decent suspense mystery. Not mad at spending the credit. Interested in seeing what else the author has to offer.

30 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Losing One’s Head

Slyly woven story, but more psychological/emotional than suspense... The slow burn w/ some well placed surreal moments holds your interest while you keep thinking you see the answers outta the corner of your mind’s eye, then you think you see a flicker in a different direction, and so on... Loved the circular story arc and plot points, everything comes back around in nearly every instance... Excepting a couple of characters there isn’t a lot of depth or investigation, but where done is done mindfully... The dissociative/dream sequences adds a creepiness factor, and overall the book ticks most of the boxes;). The narration is insinuatingly excellent... Wouldn’t go as far as to call it one of the best of 2018, but worthwhile and engaging read/listen regardless...

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Well done modern murder mystery

This is a well written, well edited book about an unsolved murder that took place in the main character's childhood, but such a refreshing change from many "psychological thrillers" on the market today. The characters behave in ways that are reasonably unreasonable - just like real people do - to make the entire story compelling. I was not waiting breathlessly to find the mystery solved, but enjoyed the book from beginning to end.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It doesn’t quite work

I can see how this book might appeal to certain readers. It’s engaging, mysterious, and there is an abundance of creepy vibes. Therein lies the problem. There is a ton of atmosphere, but very little character development. As a reader, I find that incredibly boring. Additionally, the resolution of the story just seemed really dumb to me. Something disturbing is revealed in the last few minutes that had me rolling my eyes in frustration. It was completely unnecessary and just felt like something added on to hit the reader over the head with the “creepy vibe”.
Overall It’s entertaining, but don’t expect much more than that.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • cristina
  • Somerville, MA, United States
  • 03-11-18

What a plot!

It starts off like a pretty average mystery: two time lines, 1986 when the protagonist was 12, and his present day at 40 or so. But, oh, how the pieces come together! A flawless puzzle.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Thoroughly enjoyed this book !

Very seldom do I arrive home and sit in my car to finish a chapter. The story had twists and turns right down to the last five minutes. The narrator was outstanding. Sometimes I have difficulty understanding British accents but not this time. I highly recommend !

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Kinda odd but I liked it...

Liked it, didn't love it but couldn't stop listening. Nice twists and turns. you get to think outside the box. At the end you are asking yourself did I really just hear that.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Hokey!

Way too many bad guys to develop characters well. Too contrived to be really interesting.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

TO ALL: Get rid of ALL Expectations!!!

I'll tell you what made this book about half as good as it could've been: Fiona Barton (author of The Widow) wrote a review that said, "I haven't had a sleepless night due to a book in a long time. The Chalk Man changed that."

I try my hardest NOT to read reviews or anything like that before I go into a book. I really only like reading the synopsis, but that was the one that flashed every time I got on goodreads AND audible for that matter. So, if I went into this book with no expectations, it MIGHT have gotten a four on the story--MIGHT HAVE.

The book was wonderfully written, so CJ Tudor definitely has skill in that area. The storyline just didn't...flow as well as I thought it could have. The bouncing back and forth in time wasn't horrible, but it has been done a million times better by other authors. Honestly, I can't say what made this book fall flat for me, but there was something wrong. Now, the book has intrigue, suspense and a semi-interesting story. So, I don't want people to NOT read this because of my review. I don't feel as though I've wasted my time like I did with Jac Jemc's "The Grip of It" and Robyn Harding's "The Party," but I just think it could've been done better. I know some people will read this review and just skip this book and that's fine, but that is not my intention. I just want listeners and readers to lower their expectations so that they don't end up feeling let down like I did.

Euan Morton--decent, but I wouldn't say there was a ton of range in his performance. The best thing I can say about it is that it wasn't annoying, because a lot of narrators put on the voice of the opposite gender and it sounds SILLY. So, Mr. Morton did a fairly decent job with what the book gave him. I'm sure there was someone who could've done a better job, but he was good. I'd give him a solid B.

The book, whether it's print or audio, gets a B- from me. I do think that someone else could read this, lower their expectations, and really enjoy the book. I just had my reading ruined by hype, unfortunately. Despite all this, I don't think it'll ever deserve more than a B+ and that's a good score when it comes to how harsh I tend to be.

26 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Cool....But SUPER DARK

Overall a good, compelling story with great narration. If you enjoy books with a million funerals then this is the book for you lol...

10 of 12 people found this review helpful