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C.J. Tudor Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Chalk Man (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

C.J. Tudor is a bestselling English author of Thriller, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Psychological Thriller and Psychological fiction genres are famously known for her debut novel The Chalk Man first published on 9th January 2018.

C.J. Tudor was born in Salisbury but spent her childhood in Nottingham where she still resides with her loving partner and their young daughter. At the age of 16- Tudor quit school and took a variety of job over the next couple of years including radio scriptwriter, trainee reporter, ad agency assistant, shop assistant, and voiceover. In the early 1990’s, the author became a television presenter for a show that aired on Channel Four called Moviewatch. Even though Tudor was a terrible presenter, she made it into an interview with famous acting legends such as Emma Thompson, Michael Douglas, Robin Williams, and Sigourney Weaver. She also constantly annoyed Tim Robbins by asking myriads of questions about Susan Sarandon’s breasts and was extremely lionized when Robert Dowley Jr. showed her his chest.

Tudor’s rise to fame came about in 2018, when her debut novel, The Chalk Man hit bookshelves around the globe. This novel is a blood curdling coming-of-age murder mystery that shifts lanes between 2016 and 1986 when the readers are first introduced to the 12-year-old Eddie and his good friends. These kids invent a game that includes drawing figures on the ground to communicate secretive messages. However, this game turns out evil when these figures begin to appear on their world and lead them to discover the body of a teenage girl.

Even though C.J. Tudor admits that she has always loved writing, she did not really like the ideas of “getting started” until she reached her mid-thirties. During an interview, Tudor admitted that she wrote her debut novel while running a dog walking business. Tudor’s inspiration for writing The Chalk Man came about from chalk figures that she drew with her daughter from a tub of colored chocolates a friend had given her little girl. Later that night upon opening her front door, she was immediately confronted by the weird chalk drawings they had drawn that day.

The Chalk Man alternates between the past and the present day, thus presenting dual narratives and dual timelines that form a major basis for heightening the suspense –simply because it leaves the readers with a cliffhanger at one point then shifts the timeline to a different time in history. Even though most critics likened The Chalk Man to Stranger Things by Stephen King, the author admits that her daughter weird drawings inspired her. She wrote the 2016 and the 1986 sections separately.

The Chalk Man

The first book by Tudor, The Chalk Man opens up in 1986 and introduces readers to Eddie and his friends. They have always met up on Saturday but this Saturday meeting everything was different. A resemblance to Stephen King’s The Body- Popularly known to many people as the movie titled Stand By Me.The Chalk Man revolves around a group of five young friends- four boys and one girl, who undergo through an experience at the coming of age, something terrifying and fierce, and something that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

As kids in 1986, Eddie and his friends live freely, riding bikes, hanging out at the playground, using different colored chalks and sending coded messages to each other. However, then they discover something, and it is bad-something that changes everything.

Fast forwards to present day (2016), and everyone in Eddie’s gang is quite grown up. Eddie is now known as Ed, and he is a teacher living in the same house he grew up back in the 1980’s. The past still haunts him and still haunts the rest of his buddies who stayed behind him including Hoppo and Gav. If only the past could remain buried in the past- but bad things keep on happening. Somehow, the Chalk figures keep on appearing, and Eddie cannot figure out how and why they are back but he knows that it means something and he and his former gang must investigate and figure out why even if their investigations spells trouble.

The Chalk Man is a brilliant debut novel, and the pages flit back and forth in time from that summer of 1986 in Andebury. Eddie and his friends are in their 12th summer of boyhood and feel the excellent excitement for beautiful girls and the carnival rides that retain a promise at the town fair. However, unfortunately, that is when the worst happens.

An unthinkable accident happens when a part of a fast-moving ride breaks loose and crashes into 17-year-old Elisa. It turns out that Eddie had been admiring the young Elisa when the accident occurred. The newly hired teacher Mr. Halloran grabs Eddie and two of his friends to try to stop the bleeding of Elisa’s leg with his belt. Eddie turns away when he discovers what the accident did to Elisa’s once beautiful face.

C.J. Tudor has created a boyhood atmosphere here comparable to the strength of the camaraderie in The Goonies and Stand By Me. Eddie and his friends, Metal Mickey, Nicky, Fat Gav, and Hoppo are as thick as thieves that summer, and they will forever be changed by what happens at the fair in that summer. The author presents her adult cast through the limited point of view of 12-year-old boys. The adult meanderings and drifting throughout the narrative will leave the reader with questionable trail marks in addition to the honesty and the weird intentions of the boys themselves. Additionally, the discovery of a body deep in the wounds during the same fateful summer will definitely shake off leaves of many trees, and from 1986 and 2016, Ed voice will lay the foundation for an intense storyline full of troubling characters past and their eventual disturbed adult lives.

World building, plot development, suspense and characterization are brilliantly done. C.J. Tudor has presented such a great characterization- by creating the younger and older versions of Ed and his friends as spirited as they were innocent and as troublesome as they were entertaining.

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