Wednesday 3 August 2022

Book Review | Chasing The Boogeyman by Richard Chizmar | prettylittlewriter

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.’

This novel had me thrown completely. Chizmar has created such a believable and realistic story, convincing me as a reader, that this is indeed, a true crime story, and led me to googling it afterwards. Of course, this was definitely Chizmar’s intention for the novel, and it is incredibly well done. 

The novel starts with Chizmar giving us an in-depth look into his childhood; the games he used to play with his friends, his relationship with his parents, and many other little titbits. This initial section, although added to the ‘based on a true story’ effect of the book, I personally found it quite a slog to read as I felt that this level of detail just wasn’t necessary. I didn’t need to know that Richard used to thrown rocks at passing cars as entertainment, this actually made me dislike him slightly, and I almost gave up on the book during that chapter.

Once I got past that part of the novel, and the murders within the town started occurring, the story really opened up for me and I was gripped.

The murders were brutal, and the killer a mystery right up until the very end, with a twist that left me gawping at the book in my hands in disbelief. I really felt for the young girls that were murdered, and the family members left behind.

I’ve never seen a writer add themselves into a novel as a main character, never mind one that they have created as a true crime story, pictures and all. It’s incredibly unique and clever, and well worth a read for thriller/horror/true crime fans alike.

I won’t say anything else, except that if you’re a Stephen King fan, you will most likely enjoy this novel!

4/5 stars

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