Chasing the Boogeyman by Richard Chizmar ~ 2021

 


This beautiful marriage between true crime and horror fiction,

I thoroughly enjoyed the reception




Author: Richard Chizmar
Publisher: Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Publication: Gallery Books (August 17, 2021)
Pages: 336
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-9821-7516-0
ISBN: 978-1-9821-7518-4 (ebook)
Jacket design by Anna Dorfman
Jacket photographs by Yoruba/iStockphoto (Street scene); Eric Vega/ E+/Getty Images (House); Asier Romero Carballo/ Depositphotos (Sneaker); Serge Vuillermoz/Eyeem Getty Images (Hopscotch board)
Author photographer: Carly Albright


5 Stars


Richard Chizmar
New York Times best-selling author Richard Chizmar stars in his new novel
Chasing the Boogeyman from Gallery Books.

The tale of Chasing the Boogeyman
 from a real-life event in Richard Chizmar's life is absolutely astounding, to say the least.  When all decisions were made to create this novel, hell, he generated a tweak for a new look on metafiction. 

Folks, a quick synopsis ~

Once upon a crime, in the summer of '88, Richard Chizmar had recently graduated from college and as anyone would, move back in with mom & dad. He needed to get things lined up for his writing career and prepare for his wedding after the first of the year. Doing the big M with his high school sweetheart Kara.

This whole tale opens quite like a memoir and then transcends into a true crime novel, then transforms into a page-turner where you cannot decipher from fact to fiction. Yes, it is one of those Can't-Put-Down reads.

Mutilated young female teens started to appear on the local news pretty much on a regular basis that summer and as an aspiring horror writer, well, that's almost one of those, "What's 2 + 2?" Right?

Police believe there is a serial killer loose and could very well be local.  The community of Edgewood, Maryland is freaking out which only seems normal, considering. Talk is cheap, but, these murders are not human. Curfew is set and the FBI has perked their ears.  So has Richard Chizmar. And his eyes.

This is his hometown for crying out loud ~

Chizmar runs into some of his friends, including Carly Albright, a writer herself working for the hometown weekly, the Aegis, and when these two get together to talk about current affairs, it gets under Detective Sergeant Lyle Harper's ... um, let's say patience.

Det. Harper is a character that had stupendous insight on people throughout this read. He also knew when to ask for a hand, I felt. Picturing his own personal inter-monologue he has with himself putting pieces of the puzzle together.

During this read what I enjoyed were the black and white photos of the actual crime scenes. Folks, there are pictures of the victims before they were, Carly Albright, Det. Harper, buildings, homes, taped off murder sites. Reminded me of pictures decorating the inside covers of Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs ~ 2011.  My appreciative thanks as a reader goes to those who are accredited. Those photos added depth for me and, wow, those hair-do's, well, memories.

Folks, these terrifying events are from a very personal view by Richard of a serial killer's reign of terror on his hometown.  I mean come on now, you graduate from college wanting to be an author and move back home and all this shit is hitting the fan. I can see he wants to finish off the year with the holidays at home and then get married.  Get on with his life. Sounds, almost tranquil. Yet, all these mutilated bodies. Hell, it's making national news even.

Now, when the phone rings and no one says anything Richard sees his mother's reaction as she puts the phone back slowly on the cradle; and with the cops showing up in his life, Chizmar finds himself in a real-life horror story.

Fact of life.

I had mentioned characters earlier. I love a great read with many characters and this one wasn't shy. It rounds out the whole story for me. At times, it makes everyone more believable for me as a reader. They grew on me as well as the story was paced. I would like to emphasize timing is everything in a read for me.
Since we are talking of Richard's hometown, he described the settings so well, my atmosphere as a reader was pleasingly palpable.

Thank you, Mr. Chizmar, for inviting me to your hometown ... and all of the shenanigans you confessed. Brought back such fond memories of I too, am guilty ~
Folks, Richard writes of things most rambunctious boys are fond of when wanting to taunt the law and going through the thrill of being chased by angry drivers; your dopamine snowballing like crazy. Chills and goosebumps alive on your skin—fun, passages to read.

Chizmar's writing has this down-to-Earth-neighborly feel to it. He moves the story along without throwing in one of those 'Ten-Dollar' words where it hits you like a brick, because, you don't know the meaning. Now, I'm in favor of 'special' words, but, used when the writing is at that level. When authors throw in some big word in an easy comfortable read, well, that would be like someone putting mustard on your last piece of watermelon.

As the story continues, Lieutenant Clara McClernan of the Maryland State Police is a detective in charge of cold case files. She became interested in this case after it had remained unsolved. Her performance in this read gave me thoughts of where in the world was she in the beginning! She might have saved a life or two. Or three? Four?
As the story nears the ending, in 2019 Chizmar got a call from an old friend, Carly Albright. "They caught him!" ... "They caught the Boogeyman!"

The conclusion comes some 30 years later, where the boogeyman wants to be interviewed by Chizmar—only.

Well, that isn't exactly how this story ends ... ~ 



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Recommend?

Not only do I recommend, I highly suggest ~


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Here's where you can get your fingers on Chasing the Boogeyman:
  • Amazon ~ Hardback $16.80 ~ Kindle $14.99 ~ USD


About the author:


Chiz

Connect with Richard





(set up by his readers)





RICHARD CHIZMAR is a New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Amazon, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author.

He is the co-author (with Stephen King) of the bestselling novella, Gwendy’s Button Box, and the founder/publisher of Cemetery Dance magazine and the Cemetery Dance Publications book imprint. He has edited more than 35 anthologies and his short fiction has appeared in dozens of publications, including multiple editions of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and The Year’s 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories. He has won two World Fantasy awards, four International Horror Guild awards, and the HWA’s Board of Trustee’s award.

Chizmar (in collaboration with Johnathon Schaech) has also written screenplays and teleplays for United Artists, Sony Screen Gems, Lions Gate, Showtime, NBC, and many other companies. He has adapted the works of many bestselling authors including Stephen King, Peter Straub, and Bentley Little.

Richard & Billy
Chizmar is also the creator/writer of the online website, Stephen King Revisited. His fourth short story collection, The Long Way Home, was published in 2019. With Brian Freeman, Chizmar is co-editor of the acclaimed Dark Screams horror anthology series published by Random House imprint, Hydra.

His latest book, The Girl on the Porch, was released in hardcover by Subterranean Press, and Widow’s Point, a chilling novella about a haunted lighthouse written with his son, Billy Chizmar, was recently adapted into a feature film.

Chizmar’s work has been translated into more than fifteen languages throughout the world, and he has appeared at numerous conferences as a writing instructor, guest speaker, panelist, and guest of honor.


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A Variable Darkness by John McIlveen ~ 2021

 


These tales had me absorbed ... appreciating the dark



Publisher: Haverhill House Publishing LLC; 1st edition (February 4, 2021)
Publication date: February 4, 2021
Pages: 274
ASIN: B08PKYRXSS
Hardcover - 978-1-949140-26-2
Paperback - 978-1-949140-25-5
Cover illustration and design © 2021 David Dodd
Illustration for Got Your Back © 2016 Dyer Wilk
Introduction: Tony Tremblay



"A digital version was provided by John McIlveen in exchange for my honest review alongside my proffered thank-you for asking."



5 Stars



John McIlveen
When award-winning author John McIlveen had asked me to read his latest collection of horror, I received a couple of phone calls from some Canadian friends of mine across Lake Erie saying they heard a resounding "Yes!" come out of me.

Well, have you read Hannahwhere (2015) by this guy?

All the hype, all the talk, nominee for the Bram Stoker Award (HWA) in the First Novel category, the Drunken Druid Award for high literary merit. No? - well then ... you should.

Folks gather 'round, please ~

Having a penchant for horror, I enjoy being in the element of the macabre for a few hours here and there; escape reality and slip into the reality of an indubitable fantastic fictional horror read. And hell,  this collection of short-story horror had satisfied my need to have absconded from my domesticated duties and settle deep into my library, looking forward to an abyss of dark thoughts from an author that I know would do the trick.

McIlveen always delivers ~

..."We must never undermine the free will of another soul," she stressed. "There within lies the darkness." ... 

Folks, A Variable Darkness, John McIlveen has penned stories that had literally made me pause after each tale with a shake of my head here and a shit-eatin' grin there. McIlveen comes up with such a fantastic dark way of getting a different view/opinion across to the reader.  After each tale, you just want to jump into the next story. Yes, clear your schedule for a couple hours, I'm just giving you a heads up.

From the beginning, with the story titled, Eve, through to the last tale, Triggers, every story is its own variable darkness. Thirteen folks, 13 tales of darkness. McIlveen brings his character developments and their dialogue to an evocative atmosphere as in a harbinger warning you of the feelings you will own after reading these tales. And, a realization of reality you knew already existed. Only told differently ~ One can surely say, McIlveen has his own voice and style. Glad I came across his works through this trek in life.

When I had finished the tale Eye of the Beholder, I wanted to ask McIlveen, how many more of these stories are there? And, my dear audience, after you read the tale, you'll understand that is a very important question to ask ~

Yes, I shook my head slowly and grinned a lot during this collection.

With his grasp of understanding the human psyche, very much in a social conscience style, he holds nothing back from throwing in dark darkness into a story. After you're finished with these tales, you will realize McIlveen has the ability to take an issue or a situation and twist his dark imagination into it, leaving you, the reader, appreciative of the twisted mind he lives with that he shares with the world.

And, a damn good read under your skin.

I also appreciate McIlveen peppers his friend's names and their nearby places into the stories he writes. Makes me wonder during his tales, how his friends feel about their 'participation'. More than likely, they beam. Hell, after all, McIlveen Has Their Back ~

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I would suggest and highly recommend ~



Here's where you can get your fingers on A Variable Darkness:
  • Amazon  ~  Hardcover $27.95  ~  Paperback $17.95  ~  Kindle $7.99   USD
  • Barnes & Noble  ~  Hardcover $27.95  ~  Paperback $17.95  ~  NOOK $7.49  USD
  • IndieBound ~ Support your local book stores


About the author:




Connect with John








John M. McIlveen is the author of the paranormal suspense novel, HANNAHWHERE  -Winner of the 2015 Drunken Druid Award (Ireland) and Nominee for the 2015 Bram Stoker Award.

He is also the author of two story collections, INFLICTIONS, and JERKS AND OTHER TALES FROM A PERFECT MAN and the well-received novelette GOT YOUR BACK.

A father of five daughters, he works at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory and is CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Haverhill House Publishing LLC
He lives in Haverhill, MA with his wife, Roberta Colasanti.

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~ Folks, enjoy my review of HANNAHWHERE along with my interview ~



A fast-paced emotionally complex intriguing read. Flooded with social issues of child abuse, child neglect, drug addicts, murder, and love with a dash of hope.

The ending is quite satisfying knowing there is a smile with relief as madness sets in.

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One of Us: A Tribute to Frank Michaels Errington by Kenneth W. Cain, Stephen King, +8 more ~ 2020

 


This anthology will become another one of your treasured reads.

Dedicated for Frank

A LOVING HUSBAND AND A DEVOTED FATHER
A DEDICATED BOOK REVIEWER AND HORROR FAN
A KIND AND CARING FRIEND




Author: Kenneth W. Cain, Stephen King, Pete Kahle, Todd Keisling, Tom Deady, Josh Malerman, Paul Tremblay, Jonathan Maberry, Jeff Strand, Tim Waggoner
Publisher: Bloodshot Books (November 14, 2020)
Publication: November 14, 2020
Pages: 556
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1947522361
ISBN-13: 978-1947522367
ASIN: B08P844F5K
Editor: Kenneth W. Cain
Cover & Interior design: Todd Keisling | Dullington Design Co.
Editorial assistance: Somer Canon and Jacque Day
Photos: Frank Michaels Errington, Tony Tremblay, Kenneth W. Cain, Patrick Freivald, and doungjai gam bepko




"A digital version of One of Us was provided by Kenneth Cain in exchange for my honest review alongside my thank-you for asking, John McIlveen."


all the Stars


Kenneth Cain
Kenneth W. Cain
When I had been contacted by award-winning author John McIlveen (Hannahwhere 2015) on a review for this fantastic tribute to Frank Michaels Errington, I smiled with a saddened heart.

Folks, Frank was a man whom you would have loved to be your neighbor. Yes, he's one of those guys.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Frank, albeit on Facebook, and I enjoyed his presence.  Yep, I had thought, he's one of those guys.

Learned he did reviews for Cemetery Dance Publications;

Off I went and visited his blog, Frank Michaels Errington's Horrible Book Reviews - yep, he's one of those guys.

In the beautiful heartfelt Foreword by Todd Keisling, Todd mentions attending his first writer's conference and felt a bit out of his comfort zone. He was pacing the lobby to find a cellular signal looking for his friends and he must have looked a bit dazzled ~ when he heard a voice ...

Frank had rest assured Todd he was already among friends. "You're one of us."

You see folks? He's one of those guys.

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Right off home-plate, I would like to thank all of the contributing authors for their work. These stories I have read from you guys, thank you, and let me say, wow, this anthology rocked!

Folks, One of Us is an astounding read compiled by some of the best writers of our current time. Some whom you have never heard of until now. (hey, I'm in the same boat too) Sure, you must have heard of those authors that are mentioned above, but, I'm telling you, you'll have to pick up this read and introduce yourselves to these authors that make up the rest of this delicious anthology. I have the penners listed below.

This anthology will become another one of your treasured reads.

Stephen King
As I read each one of these tales, in the back of my mind throughout the story, how did Frank touch this author's life? I knew damn well, it felt warm to them, and so, I take it as this is the tale they gave to Frank as a thank-you. Folks, these tales have hit it out of the park. A few of them will make you shake your head and grin, some will make your eyes widen, one you'll laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh -

Without putting a review on all these tales, rest yourselves, this anthology is chock-full to fill your need for horror and dark fantasy.

At the end of every tale, I wanted to have met Frank in person more and more. I imagined him at a writer's conference, sitting there with his grin, completely enrapt in his element. Same kind of atmosphere as a kid in a candy store? I would think so.

The more my eye came across authors talking of reviews, the more my eye came across Frank's 
Todd Keisling
name. What folks have said of him, man, such respect was thrown his way.
Folks, The Deadliest Review by Jeff Strand makes the statement of how Frank had such an impact on the horror community. Was some of it out of fear Mr. Strand? Or, dare not to keep approving?  Ah yes, dare not. Frank made a review, the review.

Folks, there are 56 tales of horror and dark fantasy to indulge your appetite in for those days you want to get in some really damn good reading.  The contents of tales within the covers are peppered with anecdotes to Frank from various authors/friends which made the read feel so complete to me. You are going to enjoy each of these stories.

I did and I am.
This anthology has become under the category - a re-read.


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Proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated in Frank's name to the American Transplant Foundation




Highly recommended folks
&
suggested


Frank Michaels Errington


Here's where you can get your fingers on One of Us: A Tribute to Frank Michaels Errington:
  •  Amazon ~ Kindle $5.99 ~ Paperback $19.99 ~ USD


~ Stories, Poetry, and Anecdotes by ~


Alan Baxter * Matt Bechtel * doungjai gam bepko * John Boden * Geoff Brown * Kealan Patrick Burke * P.D. Cacek * Kenneth W. Cain *Somer Canon * Christa Carmen * Catherine Cavendish * Greg Chapman * Richard Chizmar * Tom Deady * T. Fox Dunham * Robert Ford * Christopher Golden * J.F. Gonzalez * Mark Allen Gunnells * Jeremy Hepler * Pete Kahle * Nicholas Kaufmann * Shane Douglas Keene * Todd Keisling * Stephen King * Curtis M. Lawson * Evans Light * John R. Little * Chad Lutzke * Jonathan Maberry * Josh Malerman * Alessandro Manzetti * John McIlveen * John McNee * Tim Meyer * Lee Murray * Paul F. Olson * Kelli Owen * John Palisano * Jason Parent & Kevin Rego * David Price * Anthony J. Rapino * Hunter Shea * Rob Smales * Wesley Southard * Jeff Strand * Brett Talley * Sara Tantlinger * The Sisters of Slaughter * Richard Thomas * Paul Tremblay * Tony Tremblay * Joshua Viola * Tim Waggoner * Terry M. West * Douglas Wynne * Stephanie M. Wytovich * Mercedes M. Yardley


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Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeny ~ 2018

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:

1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.



Author: Alice Feeny
Publisher: Flatiron Books; First Edition (March 13, 2018)
Publication: March 13, 2018
Pages: 272
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250144841
ISBN-13: 978-1250144843
ASIN: B074ZR3ZLM
Jacket design by Steve Attardo
Jacket photography  © Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images
Author photographer: Brian Grant



4 Stars



This book fell off my TBR pile onto my lap and screamed, "READ ME!"




See the source image
Alice Feeny
Alice Feeny's debut domestic psychological mystery thriller is a brilliant twisted read that will make your jaw drop when you come to the end.

First and foremost when I read the blurb for this tale, she's in a coma and she lies? Became a 'had to read' and I loved it!

Alice Feeny is a New York Times best-selling author of Sometimes I Lie, I Know Who You Are, His & Hers: A Novel and soon she is among many authors of an up and coming historical YA psychological mystery that is yet to be titled.

Sometimes I Lie is narrated by the main character Amber Reynolds and is told
in alternating time frames: Now (in a coma), Then (a week before the coma), and Before (Diary entries when she was a little girl ten years of age). The tale opens with Amber awakening in a coma in the hospital and can hear everyone around her, yet, they don't know. She can't speak, see, or able to move. What is being said Amber cannot believe nor can she remember how she got into this state.

Though she does have an inclination her husband, Paul, had something to do with it because she heard the doctor ask him why his hand is bandaged and how did Amber get those bruises and markings that were not from the accident? His demeanor was restrained on purpose I felt. Yes, it made me do the "Hmm".

Folks, Amber is trying to remember if her husband is having an affair with her sister Claire. Claire is married to David. What kind of accident was she in? Was it an accident or...? Why and what happened at work? Her boss, Madeline—her terrible terrible boss what is up with her? Who in the hell is this person who keeps visiting her while she is in the hospital? Whispering in her ear. Touching her. Who is this person?!

The plot was astounding because it kept getting thicker as the tale went along. Then about 80% in the plot was so thick it really did get confusing—even for the most erudite readers mankind has to offer. Character name changes and twists coming to visit 'left-field' I was intrigued to the point of a grin and a shake of my head on every page. Every page folks ~ until the end, then, my jaw dropped.

I had so many questions rolling around in my head and had no answers being answered. Twisted. So, I kept reading...

Now remember folks, she is a self-proclaimed liar. But, is something really a lie if you believe it's the truth? Nothing is what it seems. And, as you read, you'll find out you have no idea who to trust and who not to trust. I have a feeling as you read along and you start to build trust in one of your characters, well, be prepared. 

The atmosphere during the Before chapters had me going/rooting for Amber when she was young. What I thought was a trademark, when Amber wrote in her diary, she had always numbered three things to surmise her thoughts. Made me think to myself and kept in the back of my mind, "there are always three things". Another, "Hmm". Did it help me try to figure out this tale? Hmm.

The settings were very imaginable, two thumbs up.

The character development stayed linear and I thought that was intentional. Especially for Amber since she portrayed obsessive-compulsive disorder and the secondary characters were nothing more than one-dimensional. Again, thinking that was intentional. Then there is Amber's close friend Jo—she has depth. She's deep.

This read is a mystery that will work your brain and maybe in the end you might want to go back a few chapters to reread them to satisfy the 'What?!' that will hit you. I know a few folks like the simple closure of all the unanswered questions to a mystery in the end, but, this one I enjoyed immensely because it made me think. It made me pause.

There are a few parts in this tale that were not explained, so, I accepted the most logical answer for my brain as the story unfolded. For example, a house was burned to the point of it being uninhabitable, yet, later in the tale, a person was living in that same house.  Okay, the house was rebuilt. Right? Well, of course, Jeff, because a person is living in it and the staircase is there! There were some questions of Amber's ex-boyfriend, Edward, and his tanning bed and that's all I'm going to say on that note for the simple reason authors work hard for twists.

This is a tightly woven compelling twisted read with a couple of unexplained holes folks. The holes were not all that detrimental to the tale as a whole, just to let you know. Hell, just put two and two together. It is a debut and I am not an editor. I'm a reader. The end is left open for a sequel and I wonder if there will be one? If there is, it'll be another smash hit for Ms. Feeny.

Some scenes are sexually graphic so a warning goes out there for you folks that don't care for those scenes in your read. I would suggest skimming those parts for this is a really good mystery not to pass up.



Recommend? Hell, it would be great for discussion that would go 'round & 'round at your Book Club meetings!

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Here's where you can get your fingers on Sometimes I Lie:

Amazon ~ Hardback $7.00 ~ Paperback $7.99 ~ Kindle $9.99 ~ USD

Barnes & Noble ~ Hardback $26.99 ~ Paperback $14.99 ~ NOOK $9.99 ~  USD

IndieBound ~ Support your local book stores


About the author:

Alice Feeny
with her new 2020 release
His & Hers

Connect with Alice












Alice Feeney is a writer and journalist. She spent fifteen years at the BBC, where she worked as a reporter, news editor, arts and entertainment producer, 
and One O’clock News Producer.

Her debut novel, Sometimes I Lie, was a New York Times and international bestseller. It has been translated into over twenty languages and is being made into a TV series by Ellen DeGeneres and Warner Bros. starring Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Alice has lived in London and Sydney and has now settled in the Surrey countryside. She writes in her shed with her dog; a giant black Labrador who is scared of feathers.


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Readers, keep your eyes peeled for this:

The following synopsis is yet to be titled ~

Crime reporter Britt Montero gets more than she bargained for when a serial killer picks her as his confidante in the tenth book of an acclaimed mystery series from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edna Buchanan.

Five years ago, a newly reunited family a Marine, his loving wife, and their baby girl set out on a road trip only to vanish. Their bodies were found two weeks later, gruesomely murdered. Their unrepentant killer was put behind bars and sentenced to death. Shortly before his execution, he reaches out to the only reporter he ever allowed an interview Miami News reporter Britt Montero.

Britt is no longer with the paper and tells the murderer she wants nothing to do with him. But when a book editor from New York asks her to write a book about her crime reporting, Britt mentions her recent correspondence, and the editor persuades her to visit him on Death Row.

Reluctantly pulled back into the fray, Britt is horrified to learn the killer has a few revelations: He had a female partner on the murders. She was never caught, and she remains dangerous, armed, and on the loose. From an author who is a master of her craft, Dead Man's Daughter is an exciting new installment in the Britt Montero mystery series.

Authors include:
(To be confirmed)

Karen M. McManus · Alice Feeney · Alex Michaelides · Genevieve Cogman · Stuart Woods · Claire Douglas · Laura E. Weymouth · Joan He · Charlie Donlea · Robert Bryndza · Megan Miranda · Holly Jackson · A. J. Finn · Meredith Tate · Catherine Steadman


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