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Chalk Valley [Kindle Edition]

D.L. Johnstone
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.99
Kindle Price: $4.99
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Book Description

#1 on Amazon Movers & Shakers!

Amazon Top 50 Thriller Bestseller!

In a remote mountain valley in British Columbia, a human monster preys on innocent lives. After teenagers discover the body of a missing girl in Chalk Valley, searchers find the remains of two more victims secreted deep in the woods. A serial killer is at work.

"Chalk Valley grips the reader from the opening page."
-Jenny Hilborne (Author of HIDE AND SEEK)

Chalk Valley police detective John McCarty is picked to lead a task force to find the murderer but inexperience, politics and McCarty's own inner demons quickly overwhelm him and the investigation falters.

"Chalk Valley presents a balance of action, police technique, and character development that is incredibly rare to find period, and damn near unheard of in a debut."
- Book Reviews by Elizabeth A. White

Meanwhile, on a dark, lonely highway many miles from Chalk Valley, RCMP Sergeant Dave Kreaver comes across a van crashed at the side of the road. The driver is anxious to leave the scene but Kreaver discovers an unconscious teenaged girl in the van. Kreaver feels in his gut that the driver could be the serial killer everyone's looking for, but his inquiries are ignored.

"Devilishly creative … terrifyingly macabre and realistic story. Definitely keep the lights on when reading 'Chalk Valley'!!"
- Bibiliophilic Book Blog

The task force is in well over its head, buried by thousands of leads and potential suspects. Kreaver’s supervisors tell him to back off and let the task force do its job.

"Chalk Valley is probably one of the best crime novels I have read in a very long time."
-My Little Book Space

Kreaver is in a deadly cat and mouse game with a murderous psychopath, a race against time with innocent victims in play. Operating alone and without official sanction, can he stop the Chalk Valley Killer before he claims more lives?

"Johnstone impresses with his tantalising and absorbing debut - a great thriller."
- Verdict Book Reviews

Editorial Reviews


"Chalk Valley presents a balance of action, police technique, and character development that is incredibly rare to find period, and damn near unheard of in a debut."
- Book Reviews by Elizabeth A. White 

"Chalk Valley is probably one of the best crime novels I have read in a very long time." 
 - My Little Book Space 

"Johnstone impresses with his tantalising and absorbing debut - a great thriller." 
- Verdict Book Reviews 

"Mr. Johnstone is devilishly creative and has done extensive research to create the terrifyingly macabre and realistic story. Definitely keep the lights on when reading 'Chalk Valley'!!"
- Bibiliophilic Book Blog

"The writer was amazing with the character development and suspense building...a truly intense read." 
- Bookluvrs Haven

"I particularly liked the characterisation, the occasional touches of irony, and real human interest."
-Mysteries in Paradise

"A lot of action and tension which would make thriller-oriented readers happy."
- Crime Segments

"A captivating read that had me hooked almost immediately."
- Going Out on a Limb

"A chilling read!"
- Book Reviews by Dee

Product Details

  • File Size: 978 KB
  • Print Length: 376 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: D.L.Johnstone (November 25, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008LDYW2K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,524 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging August 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Chalk Valley grips the reader from the opening page. The book is filled with action and suspense, moves quickly, and concludes with a satisfying ending. The author has clearly done his work in researching his field - it shows in his writing. His characters are all flawed, believable and well developed. The story is told from several points of view, which gives the reader a better insight into the horror, the struggles, and the desperation. The author also exposes the frustration of the officials : even when they are certain they have their guy, they are hampered by legal red-tape, which gives the killer the freedom to continue his rampage. Excellent thriller. I would read more by this author.

Disclaimer: I read a review copy and found a number of errors, which may be due to having received a pre-edited version. For this reason, I gave 4 stars, otherwise I would give 5 stars for the story and the content.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fast-paced thriller October 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This was a chilling read. I'm glad my kids are older, because I don't think I'd let them go on any more sleep-overs ever again. It's a great police thriller, with an extremely creepy serial killer. I loved this story, even though some of the characters rubbed me the wrong way.

Right from the beginning, we're introduced to the character Phil as he is abducting a young girl. Phil's dark side is evil, but what totally creeped me out about his character, is that he is just an average guy. He could be your neighbor, co-worker or your best friends' husband. I think why his character bothered me so much, is because he's a family guy, with a young step-daughter. It was just a bit too real for me. I enjoyed watching his character unravel as the story went on.

Meanwhile, the lead investigator in the Chalk Valley murders is John McCarty. I could not stand this detective, his character was too flawed. I have too much respect for law enforcement officers, so I really disliked this character. I just wanted him off this case. He was in over his head with the murder case, too stressed out, a drunk and cheating husband. Not the best role model, but definitely kept the story interesting, to say the least.

Officer Kreaver, on the other hand, I loved. He was working on keeping an eye on Phil, because he just had a gut feeling there was more to him than anyone thought. I loved the fact that he didn't give up and followed through with things and went above and beyond to get the answers he needed.

The final character I'll mention is the reporter, Jamie Straka. When she was first introduced, I thought `Ugg, another bad-assed female reporter". But I was pleasantly surprised that she turned into a decent character with morals.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional book and just a damn good read! October 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Most credible books of this genre are based on true events. Police bureaucracy, legal limitations and missed opportunities are typical of many true-life investigations. Fictional stories tend to go far afield but Johnstone keeps it real, rolls all of it into Chalk Valley with a few surprises along the way. The character development is superb. Not everybody's a hero and not everybody wins but Johnstone gives us that rare opportunity to view through the lens of the differing characters and does it superbly. Can hardly wait for the next book!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great thriller with one psychotic killer!! November 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Review originally featured on Bookluvrs Haven blog.

If some creepy dude approaches you and offers you a job that sounds too good to be true, it's probably too good to be true.
But then he goes to his creepy white van to get applications for you to fill out, and figures out that he left them at his office. He then tells you to get in the van, his office is only minutes away, and if you want the job you better get in the van.


Just don't do it. Because you will probably end up at the bottom of a ravine, in some dense forest, looking not so pretty anymore, and very dead.

That is how this psychopath killer lured his victims. And the police forces that joined together to find him, had one rough time nailing this guy down. Even though they had him in their clutches, and Sergent Kreaver was CONVINCED he had the guy, there was never enough evidence to arrest him.

The writer really projected well how intense the pressure is for the police, how time consuming it is to weed through tips and potential suspects, and how frustrating it is to build a strong case. Even the 'rape kit' this guy had in his van wasn't enough to nail him, as he had ready, plausible explanations for each item... but come on!!! The Canadian Criminal Code needs some updating in my opinion, after reading that part!!

This was a great thriller that was told from different POVs, including the killer's which I found the most interesting. Especially once he starts to mentally deteriorate as the police draw closer and closer.

The writer was amazing with the character development and suspense building.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars terrific and engrossing! October 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was a terrific first novel, far above many of the Kindle offerings we are enticed to download. The editing was almost perfect, which is a point not taken by many of the authors these days. I have to say, even when the story is a good one, if the author has not done us the courtesy of having their book competently edited I feel frustrated and cheated of my time and my money. Mr. Johnstone has truly done his readers a great service by having this terrific book edited so well.

I loved the characters, particularly the wise cracking journalist, the extremely competent but damaged lead investigator,the deeply flawed first lead investigator. The antagonist was truly creepy and frightening, he gave me the absolute chills. I found myself unable to put this book down! That being said, I would have given this book 5 stars if there had been more character development, specifically of the victims; who were they, what were their lives like, what did they think, what did they feel, what was their perspective. How did the neighbor cope day to day in the aftermath of her ordeal?

Those points aside, I truly do recommend this book. I will be eagerly looking forward to Mr. Johnstone's next offerings, kudos!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Impossible to put down
I just finished Chalk Valley and loved it! Not only was it a fascinating story line, making it nearly impossible to put down, but the writing itself was intelligent and creative. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Cindy
5.0 out of 5 stars Serial incompetence meets bureaucracy.
Legal foolishness meets a sadistic and opportunistic killer. Canadian government rules make US legal system look good by comparison
Hardworking officers stymied by idiotic... Read more
Published 1 month ago by willyd
5.0 out of 5 stars Page Turner
This book kept me turning pages. I liked that the characters seemed very real. They had flaws as well as redeeming qualities. A good read.
Published 1 month ago by Anneli
2.0 out of 5 stars don't bother
way too many characters to keep track of. so i just had to skip over all of that to get to the end. waste of time.
Published 2 months ago by gg
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It was a good read. Kept you on the edge of your seat.
Published 2 months ago by Karen
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
This was a very entertaining and exciting story, filled with well drawn and complex characters including two very different protagonists and one simply evil villain. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Andrea LeBlanc
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
Really enjoyed this book. Scary, creepy. The serial killer was just awful, quite despicable. I really hated that guy! I was glad he wasn't featured all that much.... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Countrygirl
5.0 out of 5 stars great
well written and very good plot, it was a very interesting read held my interest during the whole time i was reading the book
Published 2 months ago by Mary
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad read but didn't hold my interest well.
This took a while to get going, very slow moving. I thought that some of the characters were a bit stereotypical but overall I did enjoy the read and might seek out others by this... Read more
Published 3 months ago by John Y
5.0 out of 5 stars Edge of my seat reading.
this book was well written and creatively laid out to keep the reader as empathetic to the police forces as it was frustrating to see a killer get away so often because of the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by LeftyJ57
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More About the Author

D.L.Johnstone lives in the Toronto area with his wife, four kids and a half-dog/half-sasquatch named Charlie. He is the author of best-selling crime thriller CHALK VALLEY and the new historic thriller FURIES, released December 2012.

If you'd like to contact him, please drop him an email at : or follow him on Twitter @DLJohnstone1. He comments on thrillers, "indie" publishing and other miscellany at his blog:

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