Avid reader/reviewer and editor. I don't pull punches when I review, love it or hate it, you get what I think.
After reading the blurb for The Chalk Man, I was hoping for a creepy and engrossing read. The prologue does have that element, but it quickly went downhill from there. The story is rather dry and the pacing is extremely slow, to the point that it almost drags much of the time. So much of the book is dedicated to character and location descriptions that I found myself quite a ways in and still wondering when the suspense would actually start. I could have been okay with some character description had there been any characters that were likable enough to make me want to know more about them, but that wasn’t the case. By the time Eddie and company finally found the body, there wasn’t much in the way of suspense as the conclusion was way too easy to guess. The biggest issue for this reader is the complete suspension of belief required for this tale. One example is our narrator, Eddie, telling the story by going back and forth between 2016 and 1986. The changes in tense were a minor irritation, but the thing that had this reader’s eyes rolling was the sheer number of details that Eddie was able to recall after thirty years. Major events are one thing, but to remember lengthy conversations and even what people were wearing on any given day is a big stretch. Then, as the story slowly progresses, it isn’t just about the murder of one girl. There are several little side mysteries to be solved, each with their own little twist. Sadly, as these revelations trickled in, they really weren’t all that surprising and made the conclusion more convoluted than anything else. I actually set this one aside several times, but I did finally finish the book, more out of a mild curiosity to see if I was right than anything else. In the end, I found myself disappointed in this not so thrilling thriller, and I can’t say that it’s one I would recommend.