August 20, 2015 – The Washington Post
‘Black Chalk’ review: A school game turns deadly by Dennis Drabelle
“A circle of bright college friends who feed on one another’s cleverness and trump one another’s insults until the steady diet of cynicism ends in tragedy — this is the stuff of two fine first novels: Donna Tartt’s “The Secret History” (1992) and, now, Christopher J. Yates’s “Black Chalk.” Yates’s characters are even wittier than Tartt’s, but then, as undergraduates at Oxford University, they would be, wouldn’t they?”
August 4, 2015 – USA Today
Campus novel fizzles out of the ‘Gate’ by Patrick Ryan
“Graduating from the school of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch), Robin Kirman barely ekes out a diploma.
With her debut novel, Bradstreet Gate (** out of four), Kirman has drawn comparisons to Tartt, whose 1992 first outing A Secret History followed a band of Ivy League students enraptured by a charismatic academic. Similarly, Bradstreet excavates the secrets and thorny histories of three Harvard undergrads and their professor, set against the backdrop of a campus murder that muddies their allegiances.”