Author(s): C. J. Tudor
A riveting psychological suspense debut that weaves a mystery about a childhood game gone dangerously awry, and will keep readers guessing right up to the shocking ending
In 1986, Eddie and his friends are on the verge of adolescence, spending their days biking in search of adventure. The chalk men are their secret code, stick figures they draw for one another as hidden messages. But one morning the friends find a chalk man leading them to the woods. They follow the message, only to find the dead body of a teenage girl.
In 2016, Eddie is nursing a drinking problem and trying to forget his past, until one day he gets a letter containing a chalk man—the same one he and his friends saw when they found the body. Soon he learns that all his old friends received the same note. When one of them is killed, Eddie realizes that saving himself means figuring out what happened all those years ago. But digging into the past proves more dangerous than he could have known. Because in this town, everyone has secrets, no one is innocent, and some will do anything to bury the truth.
Tense, skillful storytelling -- Ali Land, bestselling author of * Good Me Bad Me * What a great book. A twisty thriller and downright creepy ending. 5 stars. -- Sarah Pinborough, the number 1 bestselling author of * Behind Her Eyes * The Chalk Man is a stunning debut, a riveting thriller about the powerful grip of the past and the unbreakable bonds of childhood friendship. The ending of this smasher will completely throw you for a loop -- David Bell, bestselling author * Bring Her Home * The Chalk Man is an intricate and surprising book that will reward the reader who approaches it with the attention it deserves -- Thomas Perry, New York Times bestselling author of * The Old Man * 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 -- Mr A. J. Finn It's been a while since I've read such an impressive debut. The pace was perfectly judged, the characters superbly drawn and there's a creeping sense of unease that starts with the prologue and grows throughout the book. And then that ending! It feels so fresh and deserves to be a huge success -- James Oswald * Sunday Times bestselling author of the Inspector McLean series * 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! -- Claire Douglas * Sunday Times bestselling author of Last Seen Alive * Impossible to put down, cleverly constructed and executed -- Ragnar Jonasson * author of the bestselling Dark Iceland series * Kept me up until five in the morning. Wonderfully written. I loved it! -- Kimberley Chambers * bestselling author of Backstabber * 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 C. J. 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 -- C. L. Taylor * author of The Missing * I absolutely loved The Chalk Man . . . It's a dark, mesmerising thriller with an ending that left me with goosebumps! -- Nuala Elwood * author of My Sister's Bones * [I] haven't had a sleepless night due to a book for a long time. The Chalk Man changed that. Many congrats C. J. Tudor -- Fiona Barton * bestselling author of The Widow * One of the best books I've read since I first read Stephen King's IT when I was 14. Go get it! -- Rachel Burton * author of The Many Colours of Us * I've just finished The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor. WOW! I could not put it down. If you like Stephen King, you'll LOVE this! -- Hayley Barker * author of Showstopper * At the heart of this accomplished debut lies a shocking crime stumbled upon by a group of teenage friends. It is a discovery that shatters their innocence and haunts the whole community. Now, twenty years later, someone is sending anonymous letters - chalk drawings of a stick figure with a noose around its neck - someone who hasn't forgotten what happened in the woods all those years ago. The past is very much alive in this book where memory is unreliable and old secrets fester, threatening to turn as odorous as a rotting corpse. Tudor's sharp eye for detail and ear for dialogue lend the childhood scenes an immediacy and authenticity that completely convince. With its driving plot and sensitive evocation of friendship and loneliness, The Chalk Man is an utterly gripping read, with an ending that will make the hairs on the back of your neck bristle -- Karen Perry * bestselling author of Can You Keep a Secret? * Just finished The Chalk Man. Dark and addictive. This page-turner is more twisty than a rollercoaster. And one hell of a ride. -- Will Dean * Dark Pines * Absolutely loved it! Creepy, brilliant and tense, I could not put it down! -- Karen Hamilton * The Perfect Girlfriend * Blasted through this beauty in one intense and thrilling sitting -- S R Masters * The Killer You Know * The Chalk Man stole my weekend! Wow. Just wow. The tension just builds and builds. And what a final page . . . -- Simon Lelic * The House *
C. J. Tudor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham, where she still lives with her partner and young daughter. Her love of writing, especially the dark and macabre, started young. When her peers were reading Judy Blume, she was devouring Stephen King and James Herbert.Over the years she has had a variety of jobs, including trainee reporter, waitress, radio scriptwriter, shop assistant, voiceover artist, television presenter, copywriter and now author. The Chalk Man is her first novel.