“What shapes us is not always our achievements but our omissions. Not lies; simply the truths we don’t tell.” ― C.J. Tudor, The Chalk Man
The creepy opening scene of The Chalk Man sucked me right into this book where I happily stayed until the last pages when all its secrets were finally revealed—and what a ride! C. J. Tudor’s debut novel features a group of preadolescents from a small British village during the summer of 1986 when their seemingly idyllic childhood comes to an abrupt end. Yet the secrets from that summer have returned forty years later when they all receive a letter containing a hand-drawn chalk man summoning them back to their childhood hometown.
Told from the point of view of Eddie as a kid and as an adult, the actions of the adults in the novel seem puzzling and slightly pointless, but the author lets the reader understand that there’s way more going on that summer than the kids realize. As he returns forty years later, Eddie is about to find out exactly what had happened that fateful summer of 1986.
Fans of the classic movie Stand by Me, the TV series Stranger Things and author Stephen King will enjoy this coming of age thriller and its preteen characters who naively stumble into the murderous secrets of their sleepy village. I look forward to reading more by this new author who says her second book is “darker and twistier than The Chalk Man. I have definitely upped the creepy. So be prepared!”