288 pages, Hardcover, published January 9, 2018
Published by Crown, Sold by Random House
My Review: I really wanted to love this book, but I think it had so much hype, that it could never live up to it. I did really like it a lot though. I do not want to give the story away so will be brief in my description. The Chalk Man is told in two different time periods, one in 1986 and the other in 2016. The story opens with the death and dismemberment of a young girl. This shapes the characters in the story. Eddie is the narrator and the story is told based on what happened to him in 1986. The group of friends consists of four boys and one girl. When Gavin received a pail of chalk for his 12th birthday, the kids begin to secretly communicate with one another using stick figures drawn in chalk of various colors to know who the message is from. But someone is using white chalk and that is not a colour any of the kids used.. I really enjoyed seeing these kids grow up and become adults. They all changed based on their circumstances, but when needed, they are still there for each other. One of the other storylines deals with an abortion clinic in town (remember this is 1986) and how the townspeople react to it. There is also some situations with bullying and a teacher who has albinism and how the kids react behind his back. As the story progressed, I began to figure out who the murderer was and I was correct, but the actual unveiling was a bit scary. If you like a good thriller/suspense you will enjoy this book. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
Synopsis: In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy 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 one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever 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 that his friends got the same message, 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 reader.