26 March 2021

Review: The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard

The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard book cover
* Copy courtesy of Allen & Unwin *

Catherine Ryan Howard was inspired to write The Nothing Man after reading the bestselling true crime book entitled I'll Be Gone In the Dark by the late Michelle McNamara. Having read that book last year, the inspiration is clear and the 'nothing man' bears a striking resemblance to former Police Officer Joseph James DeAngelo.

Having said that, Howard definitely holds her own. I was hooked by the very first page of this crime thriller, and her writing had me looking forward to the book each night and tearing through the pages.

Eve Black survived the 'nothing man' when at just 12 years of age, he entered their house and murdered her parents and younger sister. Having survived by hiding, Eve is whisked away after the murders to escape the public interest and changes her name. 

Eve is now an adult still coming to terms with her past and when she submits an essay for a writing course, it quickly turns into a true crime account of her survival and the crimes attributed to the nothing man. Jim Doyle is a supermarket security guard and we learn immediately that he's the subject of Eve's book. He's the 'nothing man' and he's livid about the book.

The writing was compelling and the combination of Eve Black's 'true crime' memoir (inspired by a real case) interspersed with Eve's point of view as well as Jim's made for a gripping read. The chapter transitions left me hanging and the 'book within a book' format was executed perfectly.

The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard is a gripping thriller with a genuine surprise towards the back half of the book that I definitely did NOT see coming. Highly recommended for fans of crime, true crime and thrillers.

You can seize this book at Booktopia.

My Rating:

Would you like to comment?

  1. Nice review Tracey, I missed this one will have to add it to my TBR


Thanks for your comment, Carpe Librum!