It began back in 1986, at the fair, on the day of the accident. That was when twelve-year-old Eddie met Mr Halloran – the Chalk Man.
He gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages for his friends and it was fun, until the chalk men led them to a body.
Thirty years later, Ed believes the past is far behind him, until an envelope slips through the letterbox. It contains a stick of chalk, and a drawing of a figure.
Is history going to repeat itself?
Was it ever really over?
Will this game only end in the same way?
That’s 2 for 2 now for excellent audiobook listening experiences! I seem to have my audiobook mojo back! The first was with If the Creek Don’t Rise and I immediately followed it with The Chalk Man, also a debut novel like If the Creek Don’t Rise. Euan Morton’s voice was silky perfection and incredibly well-suited to this book. I don’t think another person could have voiced this any better. (I’ve now gone off on a search to see what else Morton has narrated…and very interesting, he narrates Alice McDermott’s The Ninth Hour and also The Ambassador’s Wife. The Ambassador’s Wife is a book that has been languishing on my shelf for far too long. Wouldn’t this be the perfect way to read it now, and I’ve been wanting to read The Ninth Hour as well.)
In CJ Tudor’s Goodreads bio it says, “She is SO glad she was a teenager in the eighties.” I couldn’t agree more, both on that sentiment, but also because she has so wonderfully captured the 80s in The Chalk Man and the experiences of these 12-year-old boys, their friendships and their trials during those years of adolescence. Those were some of my very favourite parts of this book – those 1986 sections- the settings and the scenes such as the fair/carnival, the park, the bullies they encounter, the nicknames they had for each other- I thoroughly enjoyed listening to these moments. It was like stepping back in time and provided many warm nostalgic moments for me. Too many times I also had to remind myself that CJ was female, for she expertly captured the behaviour, attitude and just about everything right for those adolescent boys. It’s such a well crafted and creepy story too that moves well between the 1986 and 2016 timelines. The whole thing had wonderful hints of Stand By Me in it.
While I felt there were enough foretelling and hints dropped throughout, where I was able to conclude the identity of the killer, and also who was responsible for continuing to draw chalk men in the 2016 sections, please don’t think that was disappointing for me – I enjoyed listening to this one very much, and hope CJ writes a new novel soon!