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Chasing the Boogeyman by Richard Chizmar review

The most surprising thing I learned once I’d finished Richard Chizmar’s slasher-adjacent novel Chasing the Boogeyman, is that he hasn’t done many full-length novels.

This needs to change.

No book I have read in 2021, has got under my skin quite like Chasing the Boogeyman.

While the story has the slasher elements such as ritualistic killings of teenagers in a small town during the 1980s, Chizmar puts a true-crime spin on the narrative, even providing, what feels like real-life photos from the developing tale between chapters.

The other interesting choice is how Chizmar, in a very meta nature, becomes the protagonist of his own story, in a move that could feel phoney in less capable hands.

At its best Chasing the Boogeyman is a genuine spine-tingler, with the author able to perfectly capture the feeling of a small town in peril and at the mercy of a serial killer who may or may not have supernatural leanings.

Without spoiling it, Chizmar also makes some interesting choices to close off his story, and instead of give us complete resolution he provides a layered story which still has been thinking now.

While a sequel to this book is unlikely, I would just like to stay in the world of these characters, and that’s probably the best compliment I can pay it.

Time to amend that best of 2021 reading list.

Chasing the Boogeyman by Richard Chizmar is available now in hardback and kindle formats.

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