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Welcome to our expert audiobook review of “The Chalk Man” by bestselling author C.J. Tudor. If you’re a fan of thriller novels, then this eerie and gripping story is a must-add to your reading list. In this review, we will provide a comprehensive analysis of the audiobook, exploring its plot, characters, setting, writing style, and more. So, buckle up and get ready for a thrilling journey with “The Chalk Man.”

Let’s dive right in and explore all there is to know about this enthralling audiobook.

Introduction to “The Chalk Man”

“The Chalk Man” is a haunting and suspenseful thriller written by C.J. Tudor, first published in 2018. The novel follows a group of childhood friends who, thirty years later, become entwined in a gruesome chain of events sparked by the reappearance of chalk figures. This novel has received widespread critical acclaim and is a must-read for enthusiasts of the genre.

The story takes place in the small town of Anderbury, where a group of adolescents create a secret code using chalk figures to communicate with each other. However, when the code leads to the discovery of a dismembered body, the friends’ seemingly carefree existence takes a dark turn. Fast forward thirty years, and the chalk figures resurface, along with a series of mysterious and chilling events that quickly unravel the group’s lives.

“The Chalk Man” is a gripping and savvy thriller that will keep you on your toes until the very end. The plot is intricate and suspenseful, with more than a few surprises along the way. C.J. Tudor’s writing style is crisp and atmospheric, making for an immersive and enjoyable reading experience.

In the sections that follow, we will delve into the intricacies of “The Chalk Man,” analyzing its plotline, characters, setting, and more.

Plot Overview

Set in a small town in England, “The Chalk Man” by C.J. Tudor is a captivating thriller that follows the story of Eddie Adams and his group of childhood friends. The novel alternates between two timelines, Eddie’s life in the present day as a middle-aged man, and his memories of the events that occurred in the summer of 1986, when he was twelve years old.

The story begins when Eddie and his friends learn a new game – drawing chalk figures, which they use to communicate with each other secretly. But things take a dark turn when they discover a dismembered body in the woods and a mysterious figure puts an end to their game.

The plot takes unexpected twists, oscillating between past and present, where Eddie grapples with mounting doubts about his friends and the events he witnessed. Murders, disappearances and unanswered questions keep the reader on edge, culminating in an explosive climax that ties up all loose ends.

Overall, “The Chalk Man” is a gripping thriller that explores the themes of friendship, trust, and loyalty, leaving the reader engrossed from start to finish.

Major Characters

Character Name Description
Eddie Adams The protagonist, a middle-aged man grappling with past traumas and present dangers.
Nick Eddie’s best friend as a child, a troubled character with a bright mind.
Hoppo Eddie’s other friend, a jocular and adventurous boy who often leads the group into mischief.
Elise A newcomer to the group, Elise is a mysterious girl who captures Eddie’s attention.
Mr. Halloran Their teacher, a strict and enigmatic man, who leads a double life.
The Chalk Man A shadowy figure that haunts the children’s lives and seems to be connected to the crimes committed in their town.


The character table is not exhaustive but includes some of the main players in the novel.

“The Chalk Man is a dark and twisty thriller that keeps you guessing until the very end. With stunning prose and a complex plot, C.J. Tudor has crafted a masterpiece that will leave you breathless.”

Character Analysis

In “The Chalk Man,” C.J. Tudor expertly crafts a cast of complex characters that add depth and intrigue to the story. At the heart of the narrative is Eddie Adams, the protagonist, whose traumatic experiences as a child shape his present-day life. The author uses characterization to showcase Eddie’s vulnerabilities, fears, and desires, making him relatable and sympathetic to readers/listeners.

Other integral characters include Eddie’s best friends from childhood, Gav, Hoppo, Metal Mickey, and Nicky; their relationships come under strain as their past comes to light. Their individual personalities, challenges, and secrets are deftly woven into the narrative to create a comprehensive and engaging storyline.

One character that stands out is Mr. Halloran, the new teacher in Eddie’s class, whose sinister presence adds an air of mystery and dread. His role as a catalyst for the story’s events is crucial and offers readers/listeners a glimpse into the darker psyche of the novel’s world.

Overall, C.J. Tudor’s characters in “The Chalk Man” are well-developed, flawed, and realistic, adding depth and substance to the story.

Setting and Atmosphere

“The Chalk Man” by C.J. Tudor presents a rich and absorbing setting that contributes significantly to the overall reading experience. The story takes place in the fictional small town of Anderbury, England, where Eddie Adams and his group of friends grew up, and where a heinous crime occurred decades ago. Throughout the novel, Tudor masterfully recreates this small town atmosphere, with its familiar streets, local bars, and forest surroundings.

The atmosphere of “The Chalk Man” is eerie and gripping, created by the author’s use of vivid descriptions, eerie imagery, and foreshadowing. The palpable sense of danger and uncertainty lingers throughout the novel, creating tension and suspense and keeping the reader engaged. Tudor has a talent for setting the scene and establishing a mood that complements the story’s plot twists and chilling revelations.

“The setting and atmosphere in “The Chalk Man” are haunting and immersive, drawing the reader in and keeping them engaged until the very last page.”

Small Town Dynamics

The small town setting of Anderbury plays a critical role in “The Chalk Man,” contributing to explore the complexities of small-town dynamics. People’s behavior and relationships are interconnected, and the presence of secrets and hidden agendas creates a unique atmosphere that heightens the suspense. Tudor’s writing style captures these dynamics eloquently, and with nuance, illuminating the intricacies of tight-knit communities accurately.

Writing Style and Narration

One of the most critical aspects of any audiobook is its writing style and narration. In “The Chalk Man,” C.J. Tudor’s masterful prose perfectly captures the dark and suspenseful tone of the story. Her writing style is crisp and straightforward, yet vividly descriptive, allowing readers to immerse themselves fully in the eerie atmosphere of the novel.

The audiobook’s narrator, Euan Morton, delivers an impeccable performance, capturing the essence of each character and scene. With his nuanced tone and pacing, Morton keeps listeners engaged throughout the entire narrative, heightening the tension and suspense.

Overall, the combination of Tudor’s writing style and Morton’s narration elevates “The Chalk Man” into a truly unforgettable audiobook experience.

writing style and narration

Pacing and Suspense

Pacing and suspense are essential in any thriller, and “The Chalk Man” delivers both in spades. C.J. Tudor expertly weaves a web of tension that keeps readers on the edge of their seats, never knowing what’s coming next. From the opening pages to the thrilling conclusion, the pacing never lets up, propelling the story forward with each twist and turn.

The use of perspective and timeline shifts add to the suspense, as readers are kept guessing about what really happened in the past and how it affects the present. The dual timeline format creates an intriguing sense of mystery that builds throughout the story and culminates in a nail-biting finale.

Overall, the pacing and suspense in “The Chalk Man” are masterfully executed, creating a thrilling reading/listening experience that will leave you breathless.

Audiobook Performance

While a captivating plot sets the stage for a thrilling audiobook experience, the narrator’s performance is equally important. The audiobook version of “The Chalk Man” is narrated by the talented Euan Morton, who permeates the story with emotion and suspense.

Morton’s delivery is clear and easy to follow, capturing the essence of each character and their unique personalities. His voice acting is superb, evoking a wide range of emotions from fear to excitement to melancholy. Morton’s ability to create tension and suspense is especially noteworthy, leaving listeners on the edge of their seats as the story unfolds.

“Euan Morton’s narration is top-notch, bringing the story and characters to life with exceptional skill and artistry.”

Overall, the audiobook performance of “The Chalk Man” is a triumph. Morton’s exceptional narration elevates the story to new heights, making this audiobook a must-listen for fans of the thriller genre.

Reception and Critical Acclaim

Since its release, “The Chalk Man” has received widespread critical acclaim, captivating readers with its eerie and suspenseful narrative. The novel has been lauded as a must-read for fans of the thriller genre, with many praising C.J. Tudor’s masterful storytelling and vivid imagery.

“C.J. Tudor has crafted an irresistible thriller that keeps readers guessing until the very end.”

Many critics have drawn comparisons between “The Chalk Man” and other popular thrillers, such as Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” and Paula Hawkins’ “The Girl on the Train.”

Publication Rating Quote
The New York Times Book Review ★★★★★ “C.J. Tudor’s debut is a chilling masterpiece, showcasing the author’s skill in crafting complex characters and heart-pounding suspense. A must-read for fans of the genre.”
Publishers Weekly Highly Recommended “Tudor’s unique voice and impeccable pacing make “The Chalk Man” a standout among thrillers. A haunting, atmospheric novel that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.”
Kirkus Reviews ★★★★★ “A gripping and unforgettable thriller that solidifies Tudor’s place among the genre’s best writers. Highly recommended.”

Similar Audiobooks and Recommendations

If you’re a fan of “The Chalk Man,” we recommend these similar audiobooks that will surely capture your attention:

Title Author Genre
The Silent Patient Alex Michaelides Psychological Thriller
The Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins Mystery Thriller
The Whisper Man Alex North Creepy Thriller

The Silent Patient is a suspense-driven story of a criminal psychologist’s efforts to unravel a mystery behind a mute patient who is accused of murdering her husband. With twists and turns at every corner, this audiobook will have you on the edge of your seat.

In The Girl on the Train, the story revolves around Rachel’s life and her daily commute on the train, observing a couple who she thinks is the epitome of true love. But when the woman mysteriously goes missing, Rachel takes it upon herself to find the truth.

The Whisper Man follows a father-son duo in a new town where the local legends come to life, and the line between fiction and reality is blurred. A spine-chilling story that will keep you hooked until the very end.

These audiobooks, like The Chalk Man, have compelling plots, well-defined characters and set in eerie environments, making them perfect for fans of the thriller genre.


Overall, “The Chalk Man” by C.J. Tudor is a gripping and suspenseful novel that translates well into the audiobook format. Tudor’s writing style and narrative structure keep listeners engaged, despite some slower pacing in parts. The characters are well-developed and intriguing, with their motivations and actions driving the story forward.

The audiobook performance of “The Chalk Man” is exceptional, with the narrator delivering a captivating performance and bringing the story to life. The eerie and unsettling atmosphere of the novel is enhanced by the narrator’s voice acting, making for a truly immersive experience.

The novel has received critical acclaim and has been well-received by readers, cementing its status as a must-read for fans of the thriller genre.

In conclusion, we highly recommend “The Chalk Man” as an audiobook for anyone who enjoys a compelling, edge-of-your-seat thriller. Its well-crafted plot, intriguing characters, and immersive atmosphere make it a standout in the genre, and its exceptional audiobook performance only enhances the experience. Don’t miss out on this thrilling journey.

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