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!"

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

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 either ... ~ 

And, a side note folks, on page 301, there is an unanswered question where I need to ask Richard, "Do I smell a sequel in your pipeline?"

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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:


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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