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Chalk Valley by [Johnstone, D.L.]
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Chalk Valley Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Length: 377 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

 
"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: 1230 KB
  • Print Length: 377 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: D.L.Johnstone (November 25, 2013)
  • Publication Date: November 25, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008LDYW2K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #350,780 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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.

DON'T. 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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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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