The #Bookvent Calendar 2018: Day 17

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#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2018 

My seventeenth #bookvent selection marks the start of my countdown of the eleven titles I have read this year which have been awarded my #RedHotReads badge. It is a book that was released at the start of the year and which I was extremely lucky to have bagged an advance copy of meaning I was able to read it over my Christmas break. This was a debut psychological thriller but one which blew me away, drawing me in from the off and giving me chills as well as a super sized grin as I read it. It’s no wonder that Stephen King singled the book out for praise as it has a kind of X Files come Stand By Me vibe which is right up my street. In case you haven’t guessed, my day sixteen bookvent choice is …

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The Chalkman

by C.J. Tudor

It was only meant to be a game . . .

None of us ever agreed on the exact beginning.

Was it when we started drawing the chalk figures, or when they started to appear on their own?

Was it the terrible accident?

Or when they found the first body?

Oh how I loved this book. I grew up devouring Stephen King books and The X Files and horror movies were always my go genre to when I needed to destress and unwind, even as a small child, and so the whole feel of The Chalk Man was just perfect from me. Chilling from the outset, with a prologue which sets the tone for the dark and deadly events which are to come, this is the story of a band of friends, Eddie, Fat Gav, Metal Mickey, Hoppo and Nicky, and their adventures in the fateful summer of 1986, a year which is set to change everything. The story is divided between that summer and the present day, where we a greeted with friendships which have been torn apart, friends who were once inseparable who are now estranged, and a dark, underlying secret which is set to be slowly revealed. There is a perfect blend of light and shade throughout and the narrative draws the reader along, keep my attention from start to finish. It made me laugh, it made me smile. I have to be honest, I’m a very similar age to the protagonists in this novel and all the cultural references, including the man who was my generation’s Dr Who – Peter Davison – did make me smile. It was all so familiar, bringing the story to life. The pacing is perfect, not fast but with a story that is twisting and intriguing which suits the slower pace. Characterisation, both of the young and older versions of the rag-tag group are spot on. And the story … unnerving, suspenseful and just about perfect. I loved it.

If you’d like to read my full review you can find it here. You can buy a copy of the book from the following retail links:

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Kobo | Waterstones

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Happy #bookvent reading all

JL

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