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Chasing The Boogeyman Richard Chizmar Main

"Chasing the Boogeyman" Book Review

Written by Janine Pipe

Published by Gallery Books

chasing the boogeyman richard chizmar poster large

Written by Richard Chizmar
2021, 336 pages, Fiction
Released on August 17th, 2021

Review:

Whilst I try to support my fellow indies as much as possible, sometimes a book comes along that you just can’t resist. The cover, the blurb, the synopsis, even the book trailer all made me covet Chasing the Boogeyman from Richard Chizmar far more than any other traditionally published book I had seen in some time.

And thankfully it didn’t let me down. As an avid reader of extreme horror, sometimes it is refreshing to read something like this to cleanse the pallet so it’s ready for the next deep dive into depravity. Chizmar is a best-selling author for a very good reason – his writing lures you and before you know it, you’ve read half the book and should have been asleep hours ago.

Chasing the Boogeyman is described as true-crime metafiction. Part autobiography, part mystery, you are immediately sucked into life for young Chizmar in this very candid account of his childhood. I found this part of the story fascinating, dripping with nostalgia and anecdotes. We swiftly move on to the true-crime/horror part of the narrative – the murders. Over the course of several years, something has been haunting this idyllic town – a serial killer who preys on teenage girls. But for once we don’t see this through the eyes of the wizened old detective or the stereotypical outcast with complex mummy issues – no, this story unfolds via a rather unusual narrator – a young Richard himself. With his Lois Lane partner-in-crime in tow, we are treated to a wonderful insight through the fascinated eyes of an outsider to the investigation, who sometimes gets too close and is often left wondering. Brilliant.

The use of photos and extracts from newspapers adds an extreme layer of authenticity and intrigue to an already compelling narrative. This multifaceted style brings the next level of immersion to a book and I am all for it.

As with all masters of storytelling, the pacing is spot on, we glean just enough information to keep us interested yet gagging for more. Right up until the glorious finale and afterword, which I won’t say a word about other than this – bravo.

Chasing the Boogeyman ticks many boxes – true crime, horror, nostalgia, but the main takeaway is simple – brilliant storytelling.

Grades:

Overall: 5 Star Rating Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
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Buy from Amazon UK.
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About The Author
Janine Pipe
Staff Writer
Janine has enjoyed horror from an early age, frightening herself with ghost stories and learning the craft from Stephen King. After trading in a police badge and an apple for the teach (ing assistant) er, she decided to try her hand at something she loved – writing her own scary stuff. She has many terrifying tales published and has been nominated for a 2020 Splatterpunk Award. She hopes her mum never reads a certain story about a hole in a tree … As well as reading and writing, she is an editor and publicist for Kandisha Press with her BFF Jill, where she is always on the lookout for new women’s voices for their anthologies. Her favourite authors and influences are quite obvious when you read her work. But she’d like to remind you they are: Glenn Rolfe, Hunter Shea and Tim Meyer. When not writing, reading or reviewing, Janine can be found at home with her husband and daughter, planning their next trip to Walt Disney World and drinking obscene amounts of coffee.
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