Tag: Debut

C. J. Tudor – The Chalk Man | Review

Title: The Chalk Man

Author: C. J. Tudor

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 346

Rating: 3.5/5



I picked up this book as a buddy read with Anthony Andrews, one of my BookTube friends, and I feel like it was a pretty good book for a buddy read. It’s a competent debut novel, although not as eerie as I was hoping for, and if you like the current wave of contemporary thrillers then you’re going to like this one.

Unfortunately, I’m starting to think that thrillers aren’t for me. I keep on predicting what’s going to happen and I always find it hard to care too much about the characters. This one also jumps backwards and forwards through time, and whenever that happens I always find myself enjoying one time period more than another.

I also didn’t think the writing was that great, although I suppose that doesn’t matter too much with books like this. On the plus side, it felt as though all of the different threads all came together nicely at the end, and I liked at least some elements of the ending, although not all of them.



For me, this is just that kind of book – the kind that’s good enough to keep me reading but which won’t leave a particularly deep impression. I hear that Tudor has a new book about to come out, and in fact there’s an excerpt from it at the end of my copy of The Chalk Man, but I won’t be going out of my way to get it. I will pick up a copy from a charity shop if I see one, though.

Would I recommend this one? Well, that depends. I think if you’re a fan of books like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train then you’ll like it. As for me, I think I’d been mis-sold, because I was expecting it to be more of a creepy horror novel than a generic thriller. Still, I’m glad that I picked it up. A fun buddy read.



Click here to buy The Chalk Man.

Ben Sanders – Robert Michals: The Demon in the Trees | Review

Title: Robert Michals: The Demon in the Trees

Author: Ben Sanders

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 280

Rating: 3.5*/5


Ben Sanders - Robert Michals: The Demon in the Trees

Ben Sanders – Robert Michals: The Demon in the Trees


I have mixed feelings about this book because there’s stuff to both like and dislike about it. Which I suppose is pretty standard for an indie book.

We have some of the common problems here like spelling/grammar mistakes dotted throughout and a non-standard layout (it’s not justified and there are blank spaces between every paragraph). But really, that’s about it. The only other thing that I’d flag is that for what’s essentially a sort of police procedural novel, there was only one real suspect and they turned out to be the culprit. And they could have stopped him way earlier by just putting a tail on him instead of waiting to get warrants and stuff. When the big reveal came, it was kind of an anticlimax. It was too easy.

But other than that, there’s a lot to enjoy. I liked the way that Sanders tapped into mythology and also how the ending of the book sets him up to write many more of them. And actually, for a debut novel, it’s pretty impressive. There are ways it could be improved, of course, but that’s true of almost everything. And what I will say is that the actual police procedural part of the story felt well-researched and authentic, even when it was mixed with the mythical elements.

And of course, I quite liked the bit with the jerky strips. I mean, sure, it was kind of gross, but I like that from time to time. Like The Silence of the Lambs.


Ben Sanders

Ben Sanders


Click here to buy Robert Michals: The Demon in the Trees.