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.
A clever, terrifying, and heartrending work of metafiction, Chasing the Boogeyman is the ultimate marriage between horror fiction and true crime. Chizmar’s writing is on full display in this truly unique novel that will haunt you long after you turn the final page.
Reading Chasing the Boogeyman felt like sitting down with an aging relative. They regale their stories with ease, with fervor and they don’t skimp on the details. It read like a diary, and I suppose to an extent it was. It felt sneaky and private, I was given a first-class ticket on the reign of terror. An undercurrent of evil fizzling through each page, a strong urge to check over my shoulder. The presence of evil threatening to snap to the surface and make its presence known. Chasing the Boogeyman will satisfy that true crime urge.
Four murdered girls. Part memoir. Part fiction. 80’s nostalgia. You can’t go wrong!
Rich Chizmar is a twenty-two-year-old graduate in Journalism who returns to his hometown of Edgewood in Maryland. He stays here before marrying his childhood sweetheart. Three days before Rich arrives, a 15-year-old girl, Natasha Gallagher has been stolen away from her bedroom and into the night. His family is familiar with the Gallagher’s and although he didn’t know her personally, it’s a huge shock to him and the community. The girl is discovered and it rocks this small town to its core.
Chasing the Boogeyman became Rich Chizmar’s life. Somewhere along the line, everything became blurred, the Boogeyman’s story somehow became his own. He was there when the shit hit the fan, he was plagued with prank callers and he witnessed the killer watching him. He puts his Journalism skills to good use and starts documenting the events that take place in 1988. With the help from his reporter friend, Carly Albright, and the lead detective on the case, Lyle Harper. Can they piece together the evidence before he strikes again?
I went into this story blind. Chizmar laughed, bundled me up, threw me in his car, and drove away to an unknown destination but boy was it worth the ride!
Each character has complex layers and as the night develops we get to see them stripped bare. Motives and behaviours are being unleashed under stress and panic. The fine line treaded between grief and love was expertly executed. A book with foreshadowing and worry…and boy that ending, put a fork in me, I’m done!
Richard Chizmar writes with a honed skill that leaves devastation in his path. He writes everyday normal people with such an authentic sense of foreboding. I had my suspicions, but I was entirely proven wrong, I liked that the author dropped the mic on me. I felt the fear, how vivid scenes became, dancing in my vision.
Chasing the Boogeyman is the perfect combination between fear and thrilling. A master of his craft.