Disturbing And Gripping
The Chalk Man by C.J Tudor is a compulsive dual time murder suspense that had me hooked.
Set in 1986 and 2016, the action hops backwards and forwards as the past collides with the present. The characters and the reader try to get the pieces to solve the crime.
The novel is brutal. The crime horrendous and the end jaw dropping. Not everyone is who you think they are. And sometimes the missing piece is right under your nose.
There are the hard hitting topics of sexual exploitation, bullying and hypocritical action. “They were chatting a lot of stuff about love but seemed full of hate.” There is also the sensitive subject of abortion. It is all realistically done and not pleasant reading at times.
The sad topic of Alzheimer’s is included. Strong characters reduced to a shadow of themselves is incredibly moving. “Maybe minds aren’t lost. Maybe they just slip through and find a different place to wander.”
When death hits, it is hard. We want to keep it at bay but that is impossible. “He was trying to stop him leaving… not even the person who loves you most in the world can stop that.”
Adults abuse their positions of power, harming those they are meant to protect. In contrast there are kind but often misunderstood adults who step in to help at all times.
We all have fears. We can choose to face them or lock them away but sooner or later they will escape.
Does our past rise up to haunt us? Is our subconscious playing tricks? Or is it something more sinister?
The Chalk Man was an excellent read. It was very uncomfortable and disturbing at times but compulsive. An imaginative and scary plotline will grip you and will keep you awake at night messing with your mind.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.