Title: Chasing the Boogeyman
Author: Richard Chizmar
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: August 17, 2021
Pages: 333
Book Source: Netgalley

“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.” – Amazon

Kim’s Review

I had requested Chasing the Boogeyman by Richard Chizmar well over a month ago from Netgalley. I didn’t reread the synopsis before I began reading it so I was surprised when I started reading a true crime memoir, since I know Chizmar as a horror writer. I kept getting surprised and a bit confused towards the end until I realized Chizmar has started a new genre of a non-fiction memoir combined with a fictitious true crime story. It is a very enjoyable concept and I can see more writers getting in on the action.

While it was interesting getting to know Chizmar a bit with glimpses back to his childhood and young adulthood, there were times when I felt the history of the town really bogged it down and I found myself skimming those parts. And while the suspense was there, I did miss the horror aspect. What the reader receives instead is a creepy feeling every now and then.

There were some great touches throughout the book including the obligatory true crime photos and I was amused how they came about. And after the killer is caught the interview that follows adds an interesting layer to the story, but still leaves the reader with questions. So maybe Chizmar really did give us the horror aspect when it comes to killers hiding in plain sight and often there is no explanation as to the horrors that take place in everyday life.

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