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. In the midst of preparing for his wedding and embarking on a writing career, he soon finds himself thrust into the 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 does what true crime so often cannot: it offers both chills and a satisfying conclusion’ (Stephen King). Chizmar’s ‘brilliant . . . absolutely fascinating, totally compelling, and immediately poignant’ (C.J. Tudor, New York Times bestselling author) writing is on full display in this truly unique novel that will haunt you long after you turn the final page.
I’ve had Chasing The Boogeyman on my radar since it was released, so as a start on my backlogue, I gobbled it up!
From the start you can tell that Richard Chizmar is an author who pays attention to the little details, his writing is sublime and sumptuous. Putting himself at the heart of a spate of murders in his hometown of Edgewood, was frankly audacious! But it works SO well. His descriptions of everyday life in small town America is awe inspiring, I was absolutely drawn in to this story from the opening page. The way Richard has worked his love for his hometown, memories of growing up and his parents is frankly brilliant, add to that a serial killer and you have a perfect novel.
I flew through the story totally rapt at what events were happening, I loved the fact that there are photographs included which makes it seem super realistic. The plot and storyline is twisty and frankly chilling, and I loved it! I didn’t guess who the killer was but the way we are bought to that moment is brilliant.
A gripping, creepy, almost memoir like, fabulous read from someone who writes with a clear love of words.!
For fans of Harlen Coben and “Mindhunter,” Sam Holland’s chilling debut draws inspiration from infamous serial killer cases, culminating in the ultimate, heart-pounding copycat tale.
Detectives Cara Elliott and Noah Deakin are on the case of a series of seemingly unconnected murders, each different in method, but each shocking and brutal. As the body count increases, they can’t ignore the details that echo famous cases of the past—Manson, Kemper, Dahmer, and more. As Elliott and Deakin get closer to unmasking the killer, the murders are moving closer to home.
Meanwhile, Jessica Ambrose is on the run. She’s been implicated as the arsonist who killed her neglectful husband and injured her young daughter. With the help of disgraced and suspended detective Nate Griffin, Jess discovers a shocking link between her case and that of the ultimate copycat killer working on his horrifying masterpiece.
Firstly thank you so much to Harper Collins for the Proof of The Echo Man.
I knew I would love The Echo Man before I even started because the cover on the proof was so amazing! Before I started blogging I always chose books by their covers!
From the very beginning The Echo man hits you straight between the eyes, the prologue is so gory and nasty, I was instantly gripped! Once the storyline gets going at its fast pace, I was wracking my brains and notes (yes I made notes to see if I could guess who the perp was!) to see if I would be able to work out the identity of the murder…I did not and when I found out who it was I was really shocked!
I loved all the main protagonists in this book, The mentally broken and damaged Jess Ambrose and Nate Griffin, and the brilliant and caring DCI Cara Elliott, were all so well written and I absolutely related to all of them and actually I was a little in love with them! That is the talent and skill of a great author, I’m so glad I came across Sam Holland’s work as I think The Echo Man will be one of the years bookbangers, and I cannot wait to read her next book!
If you have an interest in true crime, you will love The Echo Man, the motivation and unique style of the murders (of which there are many!), had me really loving this book so much. It’s so obviously well researched and also you can tell Sam loves her true crime! It is a gory, bloody, dark, intense and very descriptive book, if you have a weak stomach, then you will be gagging at some parts, trust me, even I did at a few bits BUT that’s the magic of a fabulous book! To be able to get that visceral reality into the reader’s mind is a superb talent!
At 400+ pages long it’s a great read that doesn’t have any duff chapters and it keeps you gripped all the way through, and let me just tell you about the ending…..wait…no, you will have to read it, BUT OH MY GOD!!!!!
So another 5 stars read for 2022, and Sam holland will be a guest on my blog in the near future, so look out for that. She is going to be HUGE in the book world in 2022, plus this is her DEBUT novel!!
A bit about Sam Holland
Having always been fascinated with the dark and macabre, Sam Holland’s love of reading was forged in the library through Stephen King, Dean Koontz and James Herbert. A self-confessed serial killer nerd, Holland studied psychology at university then spent the next few years working in HR, before quitting for a full-time career in writing. The Echo Man is the result.
You can follow Sam on Twitter HERE Facebook HERE Instagram HERE
I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer?
I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. As a child, I loved both reading and writing and I always hero-worshipped my favourite authors. Recently, I found a piece of my old school work from when I was about five or so where I had written about my dream job – my answer? ‘Book writer’ – I don’t think I’d quite yet learnt the word ‘author’!
And where did the idea of The Sanatorium come from?
The idea of The Sanatorium came from a variety of experiences. When I moved to Switzerland from the UK in my early twenties, I was immediately drawn to the nearby mountains, which I found strikingly beautiful but also so raw and wild—particularly in the winter. When the snow starts falling and totally transforms the landscape, you get a real sense of the power of nature and its inherent dangers, and I began thinking that the mountains would be the perfect backdrop for a chilling thriller.
The idea of setting the novel in a converted sanatorium came about when I was on holiday in Crans Montana, an alpine town a few hours from Geneva, and read a fascinating article in a local magazine about the history of tuberculosis sanatoria in the town. The article described how when antibiotics became available in the mid-twentieth century, some sanatoria were converted into hotels. I started thinking about the darker side of this—how would it feel to stay in a hotel that had once been a hospital, a place where people lived and died? I was also drawn to the fact that sanatoriums were often based in remote locations to stop the spread of infection. I realized that this isolated setting could be a great way of putting my characters under pressure.
I explored the town and found a clinic that had once been a sanatorium which provided some great inspiration for the building in the book and its surroundings. The book Une HistoireCulturelle de Crans-Montanaby Sylvie Doriot Galofaro provided some great detail on sanatoria and I also liaised with a local photo historian, as well as looking online. The more I researched, the more I became convinced that an old sanatorium would be the perfect creepy, gothic setting for a thriller. I’m fascinated by the idea that an old building holds such a history—not just one story, but many. I became excited by the idea of making the building itself a character within the novel, and that the malevolent energy of the sanatorium might still be lingering despite its conversion into a modern hotel.
I discovered that sanatoria were often designed according to the principles of “functionalism”—the design and decor optimized to stop the spread of infection and help tuberculosis patients recover (so the building itself became a kind of medical instrument). The design of these buildings became so influential that Modernist architects picked up elements of the minimalist design of sanatoria (large windows, balconies to maximize exposure to sunlight, clean, smooth surfaces without clutter, floors and walls clear), so there were fewer places for germs to hide. I began thinking about how this clinical design might be used in the conversion into a hotel and how it would be viewed by a guest (and reader!) especially if some eerie reminders of the building’s clinical past were incorporated.
My research into sanatoria also led me in another interesting direction when I discovered that there were sanatoria in Europe for people classed as “morally insane.” In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, women were often placed in medical care for spurious reasons by a male guardian, sometimes loosely diagnosed with “Nervenkranke” (those ill in their nerves). Sometimes this was trickery, a guise to take control of an inheritance, or to suppress independent thought and ideas. This gave me the idea to explore this theme within the novel and the present-day echoes where women are still being judged for their emotions and experiences.
How much research did you have to do for The Sanatorium, lots of visits to The Alps?
After reading the initial article in Crans Montana LifeMagazine, I explored the town and discovered one of the sanatoriums that used to treat patients (still a clinic) which provided a lot of inspiration for the design and exterior of the building! I then found the recently published guide to Crans Montana (Une Histoire Culturelle de Crans-Montana (1896-2016) by Sylvie Doriot Galofaro which provided a lot of information and photographs.
I also liaised with a local photo historian who lives in Crans Montana. I then did a lot of research online, focusing not only on the history of the sanatoria but also their design. I also did some research into abandoned sanatoria using a lot of Urbex (Urban exploration) videos on Youtube. These really gave me the feel for the interior of the old sanatoria.
I have a retired UK police detective who helps me with police procedures, but he obviously isn’t versed in Swiss protocol, so while in Switzerland I visited the Valais Police, based in Sion. I was lucky enough to spend time with a senior sergeant there and meet the regional Commander to run through the story, its plot points and Swiss police procedure. We had some fascinating ‘what if’ discussions both in person and over email which helped greatly with the plotting.
Yes, it involved lots of visits to Crans Montana, in Valais in Switzerland – our ‘happy place’ as a family which made the research very pleasant to do!
I must ask how do you write a book so spooky and creepy? Did you have to learn that or is it a gift you have?
I personally love to read creepy books so writing one was a natural step for me. It helped that the setting for The Sanatoriumis naturally very atmospheric, so it gave my imagination license to create those ‘spooky vibes.’ For me, writing in a ‘creepy’ way isn’t something I’ve learnt but I think it probably helps that I tend to see the scenes for my novels in my head as I write in a very cinematic way, which I think helps in creating the atmosphere – if I scare myself when I’m writing then I know it’s a good sign that the fear might translate onto the page!
As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?
I was an avid reader but I also loved watching TV. I think one of the most memorable shows I watched as a child was the TV adaptation of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – Aslan’s death scene still haunts me!
Do you have a favourite author or favourite book of all time?
One of my favourite books of all time is Kate Atkinson’s A God in Ruins.Moving, memorable and beautifully written – it has everything I love in a book!
When you’re writing do like silence or do you listen to music?
Total silence – it’s the only way I can concentrate!
If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?
I’d invite Agatha Christie – I’m a huge fan of her work and would love to chat about her writing process, SirLewis Hamilton, as I’m a massive motorsports fan and would enjoy listening to his stories, Blake Morrison, as I’d love to hear him read some of his poetry aloud and my great-grandmother – she was apparently a lovely woman so I’d like to meet her and fill her in on the past few years!
If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I’ve never visited Canada and would love to explore some of the wildest and most remote places they have on offer.
Are you currently writing another book, and when will it be released?
Yes, it’s called THE RETREAT and is out in July 2022. The book sees Elin return to her job as a detective in another dark and dramatic setting with a complex case that pushes her to the edge in both her personal and professional life.
I’d Like to start by asking, Have you always wanted to be a writer? And, Where did the idea of Shiver come from?
I always loved books as a child and my first ever job was in a local second-hand bookstore: a Saturday job when I was fourteen that continued for many years. I think working there, surrounded by books, made me think I’d love to write one myself, one day! But the owner impressed on me how hard it was to get a book published, so I figured I’d need a day job and could write as a hobby.
In my twenties, I was a freestyle snowboarder, living and training in the snowy mountains. I began writing a different mountain-set thriller, and struggled with it for the next 20 years without managing to finish it! When I finally put it aside, the idea for Shiver came immediately. Several elements combined in my head: Agatha Christie’s incredible novel And Then There Were None; the dangers of the high-mountains; and a couple of news articles, one about hikers in the mountains who’d seen a hand protruding from the ice, and one about one of my favourite athletes who was renowned for playing mind games with his opponents.
How much research did you have to do for Shiver?
Very little! My snowboarding years were 20 years ago, and I haven’t seen real snow for over a decade, but my memories of that time were still so vivid. All I really did was watch YouTube videos with today’s top snowboarders, to see how the sport has progressed since I retired from it.
Who would you like to see playing the parts of Mila, Curtis, Saskia & Brent, if Shiver is turned into a Movie?
I sold the TV option very early on, and I’m hoping it might be turned into a 6-8 part TV series! I can totally imagine Chris Hemsworth playing the role of Curtis Sparks! And I’d love to see two of my favourite British snowboarders, Katie Ormerod and Aimee Fuller playing Milla and Saskia! Not sure about Brent – any suggestions?
As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or watcher of television? Doyou have a favourite childhood book?
I was an avid reader! For many years my sister and I were the only kids in our school who didn’t have a television at home. We felt hard done by at the time, but looking back I think it was brilliant because it increased my love of reading and I also had a very active outdoors childhood. I loved Enid Blyton, Anne of Green Gables, The Willard Price adventure stories, and then moved on to Agatha Christie and my mum’s collection of action thrillers.
What is your favourite book you’ve read in 2021 and why?
Beartown by Fredrick Backman. It’s not my usual genre (thrillers!) but I’d seen so many rave reviews and I also liked the sports aspect. I totally loved it. The writing is so beautiful and the author effortlessly evokes emotion.
If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?
That’s such an intriguing question! Can I pass? Most historical events I can think of are sad or terrifying!
Do you have a favourite author or favourite book of all time?
Lee Child is my go-to author for pure escapism! I’ve read all his books. I love how he writes! It’s so readable, with moments of humour, and such great storytelling.
What’s something you think every person should experience in their lifetime?
Surfing! I only picked it up as a ‘safe’ sport, after quitting snowboarding in my late twenties. I didn’t realise it’s actually classed as an extreme sport, and I’ve since suffered some quite serious injuries from it but there’s something incredibly special and extremely addictive about being out in the ocean on a board.
You can pick 4 famous people, dead or alive, for a dinner party, who would you pick and why?
I’ll go with athletes that I massively admire: Kelly Slater (world champion surfer who also seems like an extremely intelligent person), Keala Kennelly (fearless female big wave surfer), Aimee Fuller (British snowboarder- turned TV presenter who is apparently game to try any sport going and seems like so much fun) and early freestyle snowboarding pioneer Terje Hakonsen. We’d discuss surfing and snowboarding all night long and also aspects of health and nutrition which is another of my big interests.
When you’re writing do like silence or do you listen to music?
I need total silence. Which isn’t always easy to find as I’m a single mum of two small and very energetic boys. I often wear earplugs to block out distractions!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Edit, edit, edit! And never give up. The first draft is always terrible but if you keep polishing it, you might hopefully find gold.
If your home was on fire and you only had time to grab 3 things, what would they be?
Photo albums of my kids. And an early ARC of Shiver!
Are you currently writing another book?
Yes, I’m just doing final edits on my next thriller THE BAY. It’s set on a remote Australian beach. Think: Point Break meets The Beach. It’s out in June 2022.
About Allie Reynolds
I was once a freestyle snowboarder in the UK top ten at the halfpipe. I spent five winters in the mountains of France, Switzerland, Austria and Canada.
I taught English for fifteen years. I’ve also been a London primary school teacher, bookshop assistant, barmaid, nanny and French teacher/translator. My short fiction has appeared in women’s magazines in the UK, Australia, Sweden and South Africa. I’ve been a full-time writer since 2018.
Born and raised in Lincoln, England, I moved to Gold Coast Australia in 2003. I have two young children and a cat who thinks he’s a dog.
‘An absolute master of pace, plotting and character’ ELLY GRIFFITHS
A MISSING CHILD St Martin’s is shrouded in bitterly cold fog when Jade Minear and her twin brother, Ethan, are attacked in a field, late at night. Ethan manages to return home but the shocking events of Jade’s disappearance have rendered him mute.
A LONG-HELD GRUDGE On a small island where there are few places a child can hide, DI Ben Kitto must battle the elements to search for Jade. When his investigation reveals that the Minear family have many enemies on the island, Kitto grows increasingly worried that Jade is in danger.
A KILLER HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT . . . Meanwhile, someone on the island knows exactly where the girl is. Someone with a deep-seated hatred of Jade’s family. To find the truth, Kitto must investigate the lives of the people he has known all of his life. Because one of them is lying – and it isn’t long until a body is found . . .
Having read all 4 of the other Hell Bay DI Ben Kitto series, I was so looking forward to finding out more about Ben and the next adventure in the Scilly Isles, I was not to be disappointed!
Firstly let’s talk about Maps in Books! I personally love a map in the beginning of a book, it really makes the story so much more tangible when you can see where it’s based. Kates books in this series are all based on the Isles of Scilly just off the coast of Cornwall, and her maps are always brilliantly illustrated. More maps in books please Authors!
The beginning of the book is a brilliant depiction of something bad happening in a beautiful setting, and from the first page I was totally gripped by Devils Table, devouring it in 2 days and reading deep into the night!
Imagine a locked room mystery but on a small Island and you have the premise of the story. The setting is just sublime and the way Kate writes, I could feel the oppressive setting with the fog pressing down on me! Kates writing about the Scilly Isles is almost poetic at times and her love of them shines thru with each chapter!
The lead character DI Ben Kitto is brilliant, he is a gentle giant with a complex personality due to a tragedy in his youth, but above all he is a fearless Police Detective, who is fair minded and won’t give up the hunt for a killer until he has caught them! His trusty sidekick Shadow the dog, just adds to his story and I love Ben as a written character so much!
As always I never give the plot away, that’s for you to find out by reading the book! But I will say that it kept me invested with every page and I did not guess who the perpetrator was! Thats a great book right there when the reader is kept in the dark! Kate Rhodes is a master of writing a genuinely great storyline and her characters just jump off the page at you!
So I must give Devils Table a 5⭐️ read, as it was everything I hoped it would be! I’m so looking forward to finding out what’s in store for Ben in the next book!
Kate Rhodes is a crime novelist and award winning poet. Kate was born in south London, but now lives in Cambridge with her family. She studied English at university, and did a wide range of jobs including working in bars, being a theatre usherette, and teaching at a liberal arts college in Florida, before focusing on her writing.
Her latest crime novels are the acclaimed HELL BAY series set in the Isles of Scilly. Kate has been passionate about the islands since holidaying there as a child, and still returns for regular visits. Books in the series include HELL BAY, RUIN BEACH, and BURNT ISLAND.
Kate’s bestselling ALICE QUENTIN series includes CROSSBONES YARD, A KILLING OF ANGELS, THE WINTER FOUNDLINGS, RIVER OF SOULS, BLOOD SYMMETRY and FATAL HARMONY
A resident of small-town Visberg is found decapitated
A grim celebration in a cultish hilltop community after the apple harvest
A race against time
As Visberg closes ranks to keep its deadly secrets, there could not be a worse time for Tuva Moodyson to arrive as deputy editor of the local newspaper. Powerful forces are at play and no one dares speak out. But Tuva senses the story of her career, unaware that perhaps she is the story
I am so in Love with Will Deans character Tuva Moodyson for so many reasons, she’s deaf, she’s fearless, she’s gutsy, she’s got a fit girlfriend and she’s funny, so I was really excited to start reading Bad Apples, Tuva Book 4
Tuva has returned to Gavrik ( Toy Town as she calls it! ) and is back in her old job, as a crime reporter, at the local paper. In the smaller Town of Visberg, high on the hill, the old Reporter has retired and Tuva has taken over the patch. To get used to the place and to start to get to know the locals she starts spending time up there, but on her first visit she encounters a headless corpse!
I’ve devoured everything Will has written and I have to say that this is the best Tuva book so far, the setting is SO atmospheric, so claustrophobic and so easy to picture in your minds eye.
The cast of Visberg locals that Tuva meets are so ethnically mixed and a lot are weird to be fair, BUT that only adds to the plot and frankly what a bloody explosive plot it is!
The build up had me feeling like I was on edge and had me thinking of that classic movie The Wicker Man, the descriptive prose of Pan Night is just absolutely stunning, it sets Tuva in the spooky Visberg during October, to a treat! Swedish Folklore and Will Deans devious mind work SO well together, and will have you gripped!
I am not going to give anything away, as normal BUT it’s a brilliant book…another 3 day read for me! And the ending!!!!!! Will please dont leave me hanging for too long I must read Tuvas book 5 soon!!
Any book that makes you have visceral feelings means it’s a brilliantly written one, this will have you anxious, gripped, over-thinking and downright scared shitless!
When a young woman vanishes from an exclusive oceanfront community in the middle of the night, Detective Casey Wray’s takes on a case that leads her in chilling, unexpected directions … A twisty, breath-taking police procedural. First in a heart-pounding new series.
Black Reed Bay had been sat on my To Read shelf for quite a while ( I should learn that any book published by Orenda Books is amazing!) so on picking it up I was quite ambivalent as to what to expect.
WELL….I cannot jump from the trees and shout enough about how bloody fantastic Black Reed Bay is! Firstly, I must explain that not only am I a huge Crime Fiction fan, I also have an unhealthy obsession with True Crime and serial killers…..I will put this down to being a frustrated wannabe Cop/Detective, alas for many reasons I never got to live my dream job, but came close in being a small Town Traffic Warden in the early 1990’s, chasing shoplifters, and facing gunmen along the way!
SO I totally got from the beginning of Black Reed Bay, that Rod Reynolds had based it on the Long Island Killer, and it is awesome because of that! If you don’t know the story behind the Long Island Killer check it out on Google, then Black Reed Bay will become even more amazing……!
The characters that he introduces us to to Detective Sergeant Casey Wray and her partner Detective David Cullen are both SO well written, and really likeable, in fact all the cast are really written with a great eye for the human psyche.
Anyway after a weird 911 call they are thrown into a strange investigation where things move at a startling pace and trusting anyone but themselves is a dangerous game.
As you know, I never give the storyline away, but I will say this….it took me 3 days to read, I was totally invested in Casey ‘Big’ Wray and the search for the truth. It was gripping and frankly creepy the way the descriptions of the settings were written, small, bleak, lonely places, came alive in my minds eye.
In Black Reed Bay you will find everything a crime fiction fan loves, and frankly much more….it is just a stellar and bloody brilliant book! In fact, if you’re reading this review, Rod, when the heck is the next instalment going to be ready as I’m obsessed and want to read it now!
Another 5 ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star read, and dare I say my favourite book of the year! Thank you Orenda books for finding these phenomenal authors and publishing their works! ❤️
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 begins 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 …
This was my first read by Catherine Ryan Howard and I really had no idea what to expect, I had bought The Nothing Man with her latest book, 56 Days. So i started reading…well from the first few pages i was totally obsessed!
The very unique and unusual storyline set my book-reading soul alight! I was up until 3am the first night reading it, and it creeped me out so much i had to go and check the back door was locked (not that that made me feel any safer!). The characters are so well written, the plot of amazing and the descriptions of crimes were so real, that i was physically anxious and felt them, if you know what I mean.
I wont give away any of the storyline, but i must say that the two leading characters are very different, are very real, and gave me a visceral reaction to both! Emotions all over the place in this book. And the underlying threat and creepiness made my anxiety spike, and lead me to pop an extra pill, BUT that is surely the mark of an exceptional book!
The pace is high-octane all the way through and to be honest i never really had any expectations as to the ending, but it was very well done!
An edge of your seat, thriller, so intelligently and brilliantly written, its gone straight into my own Top 10 of the year, and quite frankly, if you’re a Crime Fiction fan it should be on your read list, up there with likes of Silence Of The lambs, a truly superb book. It needs to win ALL the prizes in my humble opinion!
If i could rate this 10 out of 5 I would! Bloody brilliant! I am now a fan of Ms Howard and look forward to reading 53 Days.