I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Chasing the Boogeyman by Richard Chizmar
Published by Simon and Schuster on August 17, 2021
Genres: Crime, Fiction, Horror, Small Town & Rural, Thrillers
The New York Times bestselling coauthor of Gwendy’s Button Box brings his signature “thrilling, page-turning” (Michael Koryta, author of How It Happened) prose to this story of small-town evil that combines the storytelling of Stephen King with the true-crime suspense of Michelle McNamara.
In the summer of 1988, the mutilated bodies of several missing girls begin to turn up in a small Maryland town. The grisly evidence leads police to the terrifying assumption that a serial killer is on the loose in the quiet suburb. But soon a rumor begins to spread that the evil stalking local teens is not entirely human. Law enforcement, as well as members of the FBI are certain that the killer is a living, breathing madman—and he’s playing games with them. For a once peaceful community trapped in the depths of paranoia and suspicion, it feels like a nightmare that will never end.
Recent college graduate Richard Chizmar returns to his hometown just as a curfew is enacted and a neighborhood watch is formed. In the midst of preparing for his wedding and embarking on a writing career, he soon finds himself thrust into the real-life horror story. Inspired by the terrifying events, Richard writes a personal account of the serial killer’s reign of terror, unaware that these events will continue to haunt him for years to come.
A clever, terrifying, and heartrending work of metafiction, Chasing the Boogeyman is the ultimate marriage between horror fiction and true crime. Chizmar’s “brilliant…absolutely fascinating, totally compelling, and immediately poignant” (C.J. Tudor, New York Times bestselling author) writing is on full display in this truly unique novel that will haunt you long after you turn the final page.
CW: Death, Suicide, Murder, Animal Cruelty, Animal Death (mention)
This book y’all – let me tell you about Chasing the Boogeyman by Richard Chizmar. This book is suspense/crime/horror novel written in the style of a true crime book. But wait – there’s more! Mr. Chizmar not only wrote this book in the style of a true crime book, he included elements of reality in the book. But here’s the catch – you don’t know which is which.
When you read Chasing the Boogeyman, you have no idea what parts of the book are real and what parts are fictional. So as you’re reading the book and looking at the photographs, you don’t know if what you’re reading and looking at is real or fiction. It is a tad bit disconcerting knowing that part of it is fiction, part of it is real, and not knowing the difference between them.
I will say that I started to get an inkling of who might have been the bad guy in this book, but it was between two people, then went down to one. There was a clue in the book that kind of helped me figure out who it might have been, but that doesn’t mean the story wasn’t absolutely awesome. Because it was awesome. The photos were a great touch, just like you’d find in a true crime book – but at the end of each chapter instead of stuck in the middle of the book like most true crime books I’ve read. This gives you a much better sense of what the photos refer to and what they mean.
The ending was super satisfying as well. Obviously I’m not going to give it away but I will say one thing. When you get to the end of the book, you’ll be rewarded for your efforts. No, I’m not going to tell you what that is either. You’ll have to read the book to find out.
I rated this one five stars because I could not put this book down. I had to know what was happening next. I had to know who the bad guy was, even though I had an idea, it didn’t mean I was right. And no, I wasn’t disappointed, even though I was right.
If you like true crime, crime novels, horror, mystery, suspense, or thriller, I highly recommend you pick this book up. This book is an amazing blend of these genres and it is an absolute can’t miss!