Published by Gallery Books on August 17, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Thrillers / Crime
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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER
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.
This was brilliant! I saw that this book was being described as a work of fiction told as if it were a true-crime story and I was curious enough that I had to order myself a copy. I haven’t read too many true-crime books in recent years but it used to be one of my go-to genres so I knew that this book would have elements I might like. Once I started reading, I didn’t want to stop until I found out who the killer was.
Despite the fact that I knew the story was fiction, I kept thinking that parts of the book might be real simply because they felt real to me. I loved that the book was even laid out as if it were a true-crime book with photos between the chapters to illustrate the information that was just shared. This story is told from Richard Chizmar’s point of view during the summer of 1988 when he was living with his parents after finishing college. When young girls start being killed, the town is on edge. Richard does some investigating along with his journalist friend and we see details of the crime as he learns them.
I am always looking for something unique and I loved just how original this story was. I think that the author did a fantastic job of illustrating the fear and unease in the small town plagued by these crimes. I was fully invested in the mystery and was quite satisfied with the eventual resolution. This is a book that I would highly recommend to others and plan to read much more of this talented author’s work in the future.