"The Chalk Man" is a beautifully written debut thriller

Who knows how many books would or will never have been written if Stephen King hadn't captured the melancholy flashback to boyhood with, first, "The Body," and then "Joyland"? A lot. That would probably include "The Chalk Man," the debut thriller by British author C.J. Tudor. By turns disturbing, sad, beautiful, creepy and wistful, "The Chalk Man" is a past-and-present story emceed by Eddie, a high school English teacher, that centers around the long-ago murder and dismemberment of a classmate. The incident touched Eddie and his group of pals in a huge way and hideously appropriated their own secret language — chalked-on sidewalks outside one another's homes as a call to action and adventure. By adulthood, the boys have grown mostly apart, and life's disappointments outnumber successes and expectations. But a sudden reappearance of the Chalk Man rekindles the past's long-buried and unsolved nightmares. Beautifully done and full of thoughtful, eerie plot spins.

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