BOOK REVIEW: THE NOTHING MAN by Catherine Ryan Howard

*Thank you to Corvus for sending me a copy in exchange for a review*

The Nothing Man is a book within a book, and both of these are equally fascinating. It follows Jim Doyle, supermarket security guard and uncaught serial killer, as he reads a recent true crime thriller by the sole survivor of his most gruesome attack. As he reads about the crimes he committed as a younger man, Jim finds himself thrilled by his ‘achievements’ and itching to commit one last murder.

I have never read a thriller in this form before, with a large part of the book being written by the victim (as a published book, with chapters, acknowledgements and a fake ISBN, which I definitely geeked out about), and the rest being told by the killer himself. It was a fascinating concept that was very well executed, and I didn’t realise I could enjoy reading the perspective of a character I intensely disliked as much as I did.

Jim is annoying and disturbed, and yet reading the story of his fairly uninteresting present life mixed into Eve’s investigative tale was gripping, as I found myself constantly waiting to see if he would do anything deadly. Reading from Eve’s perspective was also enjoyable, and I found myself excited every time part of her story came about to hear about whether she was any closer to finding Jim. It was a chase, told from both sides, and was very interesting to see play out.

The story itself primarily takes place in the past but it remained fascinating even as Jim’s killer past was discussed and it started jumping closer to his present. Parts were a little slow and the most gruesome moments of the story were largely glossed over, but I loved the concept and found myself hooked from beginning to end.

This book was an enjoyable read that certainly terrified me enough to keep me awake after reading too late, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a thriller that’s a little bit different but still equally gripping.

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