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  • Mandy McHugh

Chasing the Boogeyman, Richard Chizmar: A Review

This is one of my most anticipated reads on the year, not only because I'm a fan of Chizmar's work, but because the premise for this story sounded SO. GOOD. I was beyond thrilled to be approved.

In his early twenties, Richard Chizmar's town of Edgewood was plagued with terror. Four young girls abducted and gruesomely murdered. Tensions high, Chizmar works with a close friend to identify the killer but soon finds himself in his crosshairs. Spanning decades and milestones, Chasing the Boogeyman is a metafiction of extraordinary proportions, as satisfying in its execution as it is terrifying in its realization. I loved this book. There is something about an expert storyteller that is impossible to ignore. While some stories are great, the ability to hold an audience captive is a rare talent, and Chizmar knocked it out of the park with this one. I was utterly engrossed by the format and atmosphere. The late 80s nostalgia jumped off the pages, and with that, the fear. Chizmar's depiction of the small-town dynamics was spot-on. You get the claustrophobia, the isolation of feeling like your friends and neighbors are the ones being targeted. You get the rising tensions and suspicions, the gossip and the grudges. Combined with the photographs and the stunning insight into the workings of a serial killer, this book was haunting, and I have a feeling it will stick with many readers long after it's been finished. No spoilers, but for me, this had the same feeling of dread that made The Strangers so successful. It's a quiet horror until the screams start, and you don't need hyperbolic comparisons or jump scares to make it absolutely gut-punching. Overall, Chasing the Boogeyman is by far one of the best books you'll read this year. Out in August, add to your TBR now and read it anywhere. Beach, house, or car, just make sure you leave a light or two on. Huge thanks to Gallery and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.

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