Book Review: Chasing the Boogeyman

Chasing the Boogeyman, by Richard Chizmar
Publisher: Gallery Books
Date of Publication: August 2021

Book Blurb (from Goodreads):

The New York Times bestselling coauthor of Gwendy’s Button Box brings his signature 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.

My Thoughts:

My mom and I decided to start our own book club and it’s been so much fun! I have her to thank for introducing me to Chasing the Boogeyman. This is my favorite book of 2021! You’ll see why in my review, but I would be utterly shocked if anything bumps this book from its #1 slot.

Rating: 5/5 doughnuts! 🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩
I only have a 5 doughnut scale and Chasing the Boogeyman almost broke it. Meaning, I would like to give it 10 out of 5 doughnuts. And since this is my blog, I’m going to do it! The rating for this book is now 10 doughnuts out of five.

My Review:

I’ve been putting this review off for a few days because I’m afraid my review just won’t do the book justice. I’m afraid I won’t be able to find the right words to express my appreciation to the author for creating such an outstanding work of art. So I’ll just dive in and give it my best.

This is one of the most unique books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It is a work of fiction written in the style of a true crime book. When reading true crime, one of my favorite parts of the book are the pictures the author has included. In fact, I always look at the pictures before I read the first word. Chasing the Boogeyman has pictures, too! That delighted me to no end and I thought that was such a clever move on the author’s part because it made the novel seem even more like true crime. When I was in library school, we learned about genres and how important they are when helping patrons find books they will enjoy. Chizmar has created a work of art that is new and fresh and exciting. It cannot be placed in a box.

The story is set in Chizmar’s hometown of Edgewood, Maryland and he is the main character of the book. I was hooked from the first page and I was perched on the edge of my seat until the very end. Simply stated, Richard Chizmar has a gift. While reading the author’s mesmerizing descriptions of places, people and events, I felt like I had been transported into another place and time. I felt the terror, the relief, the confusion that the characters in the book were feeling, especially Rich. This book made me feel and not every book makes me feel. Sure, I get invested in stories and I care about the characters, but Chasing the Boogeyman made me feel like I was a part of the story. Instead of being an observer, I was a participant.

As I mentioned, Chasing the Boogeyman had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I could not put it down and I found myself thinking about it when I was busy doing other things. All I wanted to do was read! At the same time, I didn’t want the story to be over because it was such an immersive experience. I would have finished the book sooner, but I was unable to read it at night because I was so deeply immersed in the story and I found myself experiencing genuine fear. I had my husband double check the locks on our doors and I didn’t want to take our dog, Sprinkles, outside when it was dark (we have a skunk family in the neighborhood so I can’t just let her out by herself). Sometimes I even felt a tingle of fear during the daytime any time I had to leave my house, even if it was just to check the mail. I loved this! What a fantastic story to make me feel so deeply and experience such genuine emotion. I haven’t felt this way about a book in a very long time.

Would I Recommend This Book?

Absolutely yes! 100% I cannot recommend this book enough.

To Whom Would I Recommend This Book?

I recommend Chasing the Boogeyman to those readers who appreciate excellent writing. To those who love detail and in-depth descriptions of settings that make you feel as though you have had a real-life experience in that place. It is as if you are there, right at that moment, smelling the smells and experiencing the people and places around you. I recommend this book to fans of true crime, to those who are experiencing a reading slump, and readers of thrillers and suspense novels. I recommend this book to anyone whose interest was piqued by my review. Give it a try, because I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Thank you for reading my review of Chasing the Boogeyman. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope it does the author justice.

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