What happens when the horrors of childhood follow you into adulthood?
The Chalk Man switches between Ed’s childhood in the 1980s and his present day as an adult. He and his friends had a childhood darkened by bullies, parents with issues, and a freak accident at a carnival.
Reminiscent of the young friends and their fractured lives in Stephen King’s It, The Chalk Man is original and different enough that it only faintly harkens to King’s work. And of course, there’s no evil clown.
The friends drew stick-figure men with chalk on sign posts and sidewalks throughout town. This oft-drawn chalk man served as a secret language to each other, a signpost of where to meet.
But then, the chalk man began showing up to signify bad things that are going to happen. Harbingers of evil to come. And boy, do the evils come.
But the story isn’t really about the chalk man.
When watching out for a supernatural bogeyman, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the real horrors are wrought by the people standing right next to us.
The downfall to this book is just how much is going on. The drama is so thick, the secrets so deep, and all of the hands so dirty that it’s difficult at times to point at exactly whom is guilty for what.
There’s darkness all around in this book. Some horror novels have an underlying uplifting message of good triumphing over evil, of light piercing the darkness to bring forth a new, fresh day.
And then others remain bleak. The end isn’t necessarily happy. It’s just an end.
You’ll find which category this book falls in when you read it. Just don’t expect this to be one of the books that restores your faith in humanity. You wanted horror? You’ve got it here.
Check out the video review of The Chalk Man here.