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Children aren't always so innocent in this Stephen King-style thriller, backed by MJ's biggest marketing campaign for a debut this year.

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?

Reviews

A sharp, terrifying exploration of the bonds and limitations of childhood friendships and of secrets that refuse to remain buried. Prepare to be surprised again and again, even until the final page

Michelle Richmond, bestselling author of The Marriage Pact

Absolutely brilliant. Witty, insightful, clever, thoughtful, mysterious, gripping, nostalgic and utterly compelling. This book has bestseller written all over it

C. L. Taylor, bestselling author of The Escape

Compelling, taut and so very, very chilling. This book will haunt you

Claire Douglas, bestselling author of Last Seen Alive

The pace was perfectly judged, the characters superbly drawn and there's a creeping sense of unease that starts with the prologue and grows throughout the book. And then that ending!

James Oswald, bestselling author of the Inspector McLean series

An unpredictable and engaging thriller: sinister, tragic, and with a beautifully rendered sense of time and place. That final page still haunts me

Helen Callaghan, bestselling author of Dear Amy

Kept me up until five in the morning. Wonderfully written

Kimberley Chambers, bestselling author of Backstabber

An utterly gripping read, with an ending that will make the hairs on the back of your neck bristle

Karen Perry, bestselling author of Can You Keep a Secret?

A page-turning thriller that draws simple but terrifying lines about evil and the haunting nature of childhood. Flip open the first page and you'll curl up all night

Julia Heaberlin,bestselling author of Black-Eyed Susans

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781405930956

    September 3, 2018

    Michael Joseph

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9780718187439

    January 15, 2018

    Michael Joseph

    RRP $39.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Trade Paperback

    9780718187446

    January 2, 2018

    Michael Joseph

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • The Chalk Man
    C.J. Tudor

    EBook

    9781405930963

    January 11, 2018

    Penguin eBooks

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

Extract

Prologue

The girl’s head rested on a small pile of orange-and-brown leaves.

Her almond eyes stared up at the canopy of sycamore, beech and oak, but they didn’t see the tentative fingers of sunlight that poked through the branches and sprinkled the woodland floor with gold. They didn’t blink as shiny black beetles scurried over their pupils. They didn’t see anything any more, except darkness.

A short distance away, a pale hand stretched out from its own small shroud of leaves as if searching for help, or reassurance that it was not alone. None was to be found. The rest of her body lay out of reach, hidden in other secluded spots around the woods.

Close by, a twig snapped, loud as a firecracker in the stillness, and a flurry of birds exploded out of the undergrowth. Someone approached.

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