The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A group of kids, improbably friends in the way that often happens at school, find their friendship tested and frayed over the course of one summer... but then, years later, that friendship and those events are the key to the modern day mystery of one of the group's murder. So far, so good.
The problem is that the characters are more one-dimensional than they should be for this to work well. The 1986 timeline was actually the more interesting one, the one where we meet the friends and learn about their lives; by 2016, the only real surprise is Chloe and whether she's just an add-on or part of the overall picture. There's nothing that surprised me about the older versions of the friends, nothing that made me wonder about how they'd ended up the way they had (professionally or personally).
Still, for lovers of suspense and surprise twists, this will be a good addition and the author shows real promise (this is a debut) that I'm eager to see develop.
ARC provided by publisher.