The acclaimed New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling novel of small-town evil that “is genuinely chilling and something brand-new and exciting” (Stephen King) and “unforgettable” (Harlan Coben).
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. Amid preparing for his wedding and embarking on a writing career, he soon finds himself thrust into a 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 “dazzling work of fresh imagination and psychological insight” (Caroline Kepnes, New York Times bestselling author of You) is on full display in this truly unique novel that will haunt you long after you turn the final page.
This impressive metafictional thriller from bestseller Chizmar (Widow's Point) mixes autobiography with crime. In the summer of 1988, with a freshly minted journalism degree, a version of Chizmar's younger self returns to his small, idyllic hometown of Edgewood, Md., to live with his parents for seven months until his marriage. During that time, four teenage girls with whom Chizmar has some connection ("They were friends of friends, siblings of friends, or in some cases, children of friends") are murdered. In between writing horror stories and preparing the debut issue of his horror and suspense magazine, Cemetery Dance, Chizmar gets involved in the hunt for the killer. A hopscotch grid with mystifying numbers in the squares may be an important clue. Authentic-looking photos at the end of each chapter of such people as victims, police personnel, and ordinary residents of Edgewood reinforce the true crime conceit. Though the solution is somewhat obvious, getting to it takes the reader on a smart, entertaining ride. Chizmar should win new fans with this unusual tale. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary.