A serial rapist and murder is called The Nothing Man not only because he leaves no physical evidence behind but also because nothing distinguishes him or his life; he is boring, ordinary and unremarkable. Unlike other mystery crime novels, author Catherine Ryan Howard has written a tension filled memoir hidden inside a thriller, in which the perpetrator is known, and the victim is obsessed with catching him.
Eve Black, the protagonist and victim, at the age of 12, survived serial killer Jim Doyle, who entered her home and brutally murdered her younger sister and parents. Two decades later, she releases her survivor memoir, which includes the clues she’d found about the identity of the man who ruined her life and took her family. Jim Doyle, one time member of the Irish Garda, now a married supermarket security guard in his sixties, discovers her book and the game of cat and mouse begins.
This well-written cleverly crafted psychological thriller’s plot and narrative structure are quite unique, as the author progresses the storyline through the separate view points of the victim and perpetrator and beautifully cultivated dual past/present timelines.
Although some true crime readers may find Jim’s character very similar to the recently convicted Golden State Killer, I don’t think that they will find that this distracts from the overall appreciation of this suspenseful novel. This a memorable, gripping read and I highly recommend ‘The Nothing Man’ to all readers who enjoy a well-developed, creative twisty thriller.
|Author||Catherine Ryan Howard|
|Distributor||Allen & Unwin|