The Nothing Man – Catherine Ryan Howard

At the age of twelve, Eve Black was the only member of her family to survive an encounter with serial attacker the Nothing Man. Now an adult, she is obsessed with identifying the man who destroyed her life.

Supermarket security guard Jim Doyle has just started reading The Nothing Man–the true-crime memoir Eve has written about her efforts to track down her family’s killer. As he turns each page, his rage grows. Because Jim’s not just interested in reading about the Nothing Man. He is the Nothing Man.

Jim soon beings to realize how dangerously close Eve is getting to the truth. He knows she won’t give up until she finds him. He has no choice but to stop her first ..

CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1982. Her debut thriller, DISTRESS SIGNALS (2016), was an Irish Times and USA Today bestseller, and was shortlisted for both the Irish Crime Novel of the Year and the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger. Her second thriller, THE LIAR’S GIRL (2018) was nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. She currently lives in Dublin, where she divides her time between the desk and the sofa.

My Review:

This book comes very highly recommended with lots of 5 star reviews and is my first by Catherine Ryan Howard so I had high hopes and was very excited to start it.

The book starts off with a bang – Jim Doyle, a seemingly average, unhappily married, middle-aged security guard who works in a department store starts his day as usual and then sees something that will change his life and not for the better. A new book called “The Nothing Man” has just been published – it’s the true life story of Eve Black, the only member of her family to survive a violent and murderous attack by the serial killer dubbed “The Nothing Man”. At 12 years old she was left the sole survivor and now years later Eve has written this book, tracking his movements and retelling the story of all the victims in the hope that someone will recognise this elusive killer and justice will be served.

However as Jim is The Nothing Man he has completely different ideas about justice and needs to know exactly what Eve remembers about that night and more importantly what she has uncovered.

The book is cleverly told from the warped and disturbed perspective of Jim, the serial killer and then through the pages of Eve’s book The Nothing Man.

I will admit that I actually found Jim’s chapters more interesting and gripping and whilst I don’t obviously agree with mass murder, stalking and serial killers I found it easier to “connect” with Jim’s chapters than reading Eve’s book which dragged slightly in places for me and was a tad confusing.

Overall it was a well written, clever and original story that all crime lovers should enjoy.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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