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The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard [AMBASSADOR BOOK BUZZ]

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I am so excited to be part of the Ambassador Book Buzz for The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard. Thank you to the amazing team at LoveReading and Corvus for this opportunity. 

Needless to say, this book made me stay up all night, just to find out how it ends. 

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I was the girl who survived the Nothing Man.
Now I am the woman who is going to catch him…

You’ve just read the opening pages of The Nothing Man, the true crime memoir Eve Black has written about her obsessive search for the man who killed her family nearly two decades ago.

The Nothing Man starts when Jim is at work, walking through the supermarket, and he notices that a girl has a book with the name “The Nothing Man” with her. His heart starts racing – because he knows what it means. The Nothing Man is a mysterious man that has assaulted and killed many people in the area, and even after twenty years, no one has found him yet. But Jim knows the truth – because he is the man who did all these crimes. 

Eve Black is one of the survivors, that managed to escape his attack by hiding in her bathroom. She writes a book about her experiences and the experiences of the other victims. With her whole family dead and nothing to lose, she is set to find out, once and for all, who the mysterious man is.

I loved the writing style – the book within the book – it was unusual and very interesting for me to engage with. I was so intrigued and invested, and that did not change at all. There are many twists and turns in this book, and you will enjoy them all, especially the very ending, where everything just comes to a big climax. It kept me glued to my seat, and I want more. 

I loved the difference between Jim and Eve – their different recollections to how things happened, and why they did. In her book, Eve is explaining how the attacks and murders took place, and right after that, we also witness Jim’s reaction to Eve’s writing, and whether he agrees or not with how correct her facts are. It was very scary at times, to read from the killer’s perspective, and the reasons of why he made some choices. 

The more Jim reads, the more he realizes 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… 

Usually, in our standard crime books, we have a crime scene, then suspects, and then we figure our way to finding the murderer. But here – we already know who the murderer is at the beginning of the story. But the rest of the world doesn’t. And this is a concept that I haven’t encountered yet, but really enjoyed it. Because this is something we don’t think about often – when we have a crime, and we don’t know who did it, the person that is guilty is out there somewhere, and knows he’s deceived us. 

The other important message from this book is to remember the victims.

Everyone remembers the name of a serial killer – but only few remember the victim’s names. 

“It’s fine to be fascinated by serial killers,” she tells me in her office after the lecture. “I am myself, obviously. They are fascinating because even though they look just like the rest of us, they do things the rest of us would never, ever do. But they are not especially intelligent. They don’t outsmart authorities. You know David Berkowitz? Son of Sam? They caught him because he got himself a parking ticket at the scene of one of his crimes.

They are boring, ordinary, failures of men – not always men, of course, but predominately – who can’t even manage to live, love and process their feelings in a world where the rest of us have all managed to master it by the time we’re in our teens. These are no dark magicians. They have no special skills. People seem to forget that we know their names because they got caught. In fact, the only remarkable thing about them is what they took from the world: their victims. It’s their names we should know.”

Eve’s book and her investigation behind the book had some powerful psychological lessons, and I enjoyed learning everything. If you already love true crime, and psychological thrillers, you have to absolutely read this and soon. This book is too good to be skipped.

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