Chasing the Boogeyman
by Richard Chizmar
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 17 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 17 Aug 2021
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 does what true crime so often cannot: it offers both chills and a satisfying conclusion' (Stephen King). 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.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 36 members
I’ve never read anything by Richard Chizmar but after reading this I will definitely be seeking out some more of his works. I was totally gripped by this book and so engrossed by the wonderfully, detailed descriptions and the amazing writing. It was fast paced and literally left my heart racing and me holding my breath. I cannot recommend this book enough.
Oh wow, this book is just absolutely incredibly written! I was so engrossed in its brilliance and believability that I had to check numerous times to make sure it really was fictional! I could not wait for its fabulously unpredictable conclusion. I can’t give it less than 5 stars! It’s the best book of fiction I’ve read so far this year. Just brilliant!!
Chasing The Boogeyman is one of the most intelligent metafiction novels I have had the absolute pleasure of reading and is definitely in the running for my book of the year. Richard Chizmar offers a fictional story that reads like a literary true crime novel, it is absolutely addictive with a beautifully crafted plot set in the author's own world and within his perspective, it is incredibly difficult to put down and has one of the best endings I've read in ages. It's not all fact yet its not all fiction. With a foreword from James Renner and an author afterword that tells the real tale, Chasing The Boogeyman is a must read of 2021. Highly Recommended.
Wow! I could not put this one down. It was one of the best Ive read this year! I can not wait for more by Richard Chizmar. If you haven’t read him yet do yourself a favor and check this out!
Chasing the Boogeyman is a fictional novel, written in the style of a True Crime book. Richard Chizmar himself is the protagonist, and the novel follows his life in his hometown. He is back at home with his parents, just months before he is going to be married, and Chizmar "documents" the murders of several young girls in his neighbourhood. We follow Chizmar as he becomes inextricably linked with the investigation, and we wonder who the killer is and when they will strike again. I have read one novel by Chizmar before - his collaboration with Stephen King, Gwendy's Button Box, which I found charming. After reading this, Chizmar stayed in my mind. I didn't immediately run out and buy his back-catalogue, but I was intrigued. I followed him on Twitter and knew I would read more of his work some day. Then I read Chasing the Boogeyman. This book is fantastic! Before the story, there is an Author's Note saying that the events are fictional, and yet I had to Google certain things to see if they were real. This is written as the most interesting True Crime book you will read. Part of the reason that this novel is so real is that I believe Chizmar has allowed us into his life and soul. I don't mean the acts of the Boogeyman of course, but lots of the book feels like it was partly memoir. The parts of the text that describe his family life and the inception of Cemetery Dance feel like we have a snapshot of a real young artist's life. Chizmar has poured himself into the pages. Therefore when we are introduced to a terrifying murderer stalking the night, we have no reason to believe it is fiction. I don't recall reading a book like Chasing the Boogeyman before. I was gripped from the first paragraph, and read it very quickly. This is the best book I have read so far this year. I will now definitely be going out and reading Chizmar's back-catalogue. This is perfect for fans of Stephen King, True-Crime fans, and anyone who loves a thrilling dark tale. Thanks to Richard Chizmar, NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for this ARC.
Oh my god! What a ride this book was! I absolutely loved reading this book and finished it in a day. Chizmar writes evocatively and creates the atmosphere so well. I was lost in the storytelling and the world he created for his readers and i had to keep reading to know more. The concept - of mixing fact with fiction, and writing a novel in the fashion of a true crime book - and its execution were both done brilliantly. There are so many thrillers that are based on the central trope of the serial killer, but this book stood out because of the twist it gave to the trope by going meta. Absolutely recommended. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC
OMG! This drew me in quickly and there was that instant tension of a drama unfolding. An incredibly well thought out, very original plotline and one I had not foreseen. I turned ever quicker and devoured this- the sign of a gripping, well written read. A captivating, rollercoaster of a book. Loved it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Brilliant! Having read several true crime books recently, Chasing the Boogeyman all felt very believable and very real, from the characters to the setting and plot. I was gripped throughout - couldn't put it down - and longed for the killer to be found and justice to be served. Very cleverly done, and I enjoyed the author's comments at the end, revealing what was real and what wasn't.
"Chasing the Boogeyman" is an intelligent and engrossing fictional story written in the voice of a true crime case study told from a personal perspective. Chizmar has crafted an addictive and fascinating plot within the author's life history, pulling memories and details from his family life and home town. Despite being advertised as a work of fiction, it was hard to believe this was not a real criminal case. The attention to detail throughout the book was unbelievably well thought out and tightly knit. I was so committed to following the progression of the case, I repeatedly had to remind myself the crime wasn't factual. This has shot to my top read of 2021 and I cannot wait to purchase a physical copy so I can read it again. Thank you to Richard Chizmar, Netgallery and Hodder & Stoughton for this arc to review.
Part memoir, part meta-fiction. This (true?)crime novel had me on the edge of my seat. The details of the author's hometown upbringing brought moments of beautiful nostalgia and the suspense elements are first class. Chizmar's best to date.
A novel written in the style of a true crime book - its genius. Richard Chizmar describes the - fictional - murders that took place in his hometown in 1988. An aspiring horror novelist, together with his journalist friend, he tries to track down the person responsible. I loved this book, it brought me back to the old style horror movies of the 80's, think Halloween or Friday the 13th in book form and this is exactly what Chasing the Boogeyman is. I knew from the get go this was all fiction but the writing was so genuine it had me at times convinced that this was the real deal. The attention to detail was incredible - he even included photos purporting to be from the investigation.! The story itself is terrifying, young women in a small, friendly community going missing and turning up dead with the police force and the locals having no idea who the killer is or who might be his next victim. This book had me making sure my doors were locked before I went to bed its that good. I just loved it so much and I hope everyone goes out and reads it when its published. Its one of the best books I've read this year.
Wow wow wow. An absolute classic of true crime fiction, it has the same excellent and storytelling as Truman Capote with in cold blood, and just the terrifying and horrificness of Stephen King. Love love love this book and I urge anyone who loves, true crime, crime fiction, and horror to pick this tale up.
**Will update the link as soon as I share the review on my insta book blog** Omg! This was brilliant! I honestly have not read anything like this before. Part fiction, part real, and all of this shaped into a true crime story including photos of crime scenes, victims, and police investigation. Yes, you read it right! THIS BOOK INCLUDES PHOTOS! (can you hear me screaming?!) Omg! When was the last time you read a fiction book that was so well done it was complete with photos?! This was epic, all y'all fiction writers, please take notes! Also, the story was super interesting and gripping too, and sure read like a true-crime book! Halfway through I wanted to get on google trying to find out what was real and what wasn't. Thanks to the endnotes where the author has mentioned which parts were real and which were fiction and where all the photos came from, a brilliant job at that too btw, I could never tell they were staged, I would have googled god knows what trying to find it out! xD Thanks so much to Netgalley, author, and publisher for the eARC. All opinions are my own.
Chasing the Boogeyman is a very clever book - written as a work of fiction but in the style of a true crime book of which the author's younger self is the star - it is hard to consciously read it is as fiction. Richard Chizmar, in 1988 is 23 and an up and coming writer. He moves back to his parents house in Edgewood, a small town in middle America in the run up to his wedding to Kara. He is happy to have the time with his parents, even though it feels strange to be back in his childhood bed. However, a murderer is on the loose in his town, 4 young girls have so far been murdered. Richard and his friend, local journalist, Carly Albright, are following the case intensely collating their own notes as they go. Richard eventually writes a true crime book about the murders which is updated 30 years later when the Boogeyman is eventually identified (and what a shock that was!) This book is fascinating, riveting and compulsive reading. I absolutely loved it. It is now in my top 5 of the year so far. it is authentic and at times too believable, it reads like an altogether too tense and atmospheric true crime book. If you like a really good whodunnit, and you're into true crime books - this is the book for you - it is unputdownable. 5 stars.
Chasing the Boogeyman is, essentially, a work of fiction but it is presented to us in such a way as to plausibly seem like a horrific true story. As a story it is cleverly constructed, and as a concept it was fascinating. The book is set in the small Maryland town of Edgewood, and is told from the viewpoint of our narrator, the author. He is in his early twenties, about to get married and has returned to his childhood home to save money as he attempts to start his career as a writer. When the body of one of his neighbours, Natasha Gallagher, is found in woodland behind her home people are shocked. However, when further bodies turn up it seems that the town has a serial killer. People are jumpy. Curfews are brought in, neighbourhood watch groups are set up - sometimes with unexpected results - and the FBI are also on hand. In such a small town the creeping sense of unease is easy to imagine. Chizmar captures the tension well, showing through the eyes of his somewhat naive self the mechanics (such as he could witness them) of the investigation and the effects of such brutality on a small community. His fascination with the crimes is, perhaps, understandable and I found myself completely absorbed in the way he reports these. The photos were a nice touch to lend authenticity, and it was definitely a plus that Chizmar was aided in his somewhat interfering sleuthing by his friend, aspiring journalist Carly Albright. From start to finish this was a story that I found hard to put down. I wouldn't say it was terrifying, but a bit like Bradbury (who is referenced) Chizmar is skilled at creating a mood. Huge thanks to NetGalley for granting me access to this before publication in exchange for my honest thoughts.