#BookReview: The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard @CorvusBooks @CapitalCrime1 #TheNothingMan #damppebbles

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.

Supermarket security guard Jim Doyle is reading it too, and with each turn of the page his rage grows. Because Jim was – is – the Nothing Man.

The more Jim reads, the more he realises 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…”

Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to share my review of The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard. The Nothing Man was published by Corvus Books on 6th May 2021 and is available in paperback, audio and digital formats. My copy of The Nothing Man arrived at damppebbles HQ thanks to the brilliant Capital Crime Book Club which I heartily recommend to all crime fiction fans!

Eve Black was the sole survivor of The Nothing Man, a prolific serial killer wreaking havoc in Cork at the turn of the Millennium. Now she’s written a tell-all book about her experience. It’s an instant bestseller and propels both Eve and The Nothing Man back into the spotlight nearly nineteen years after his terror filled reign. Supermarket security guard Jim Doyle happens upon the book one shift and instantly his world is  turned upside down. Because Jim knows everything there is to know about The Nothing Man. Jim IS The Nothing Man. He becomes obsessed with the book and with Eve. Grasping every opportunity he can to sneak a few more chapters. What is clear to aging Jim is that Eve is getting closer to unmasking him. Which can mean only one thing. She must be stopped…

Oh my goodness, I loved The Nothing Man! This is the first book I’ve read by this author but I swear I’ll be reading everything Ryan Howard has written as soon as humanly possible. I loved the story, which was very compelling, I loved the writing style, I even loved how it was formatted and presented to the reader. It’s a book within a book, which you can’t really go wrong with in my opinion! The Nothing Man is a highly original, unnerving, creepy read which I read over the course of one day because I just couldn’t put it down.

I read a lot of crime and in particular serial killer thrillers, which by no means makes me an expert on the subject. Not in the slightest. But I have noticed that when the experts are talking about the psychology of a serial killer their reasons for suddenly stopping can vary. They get caught, they themselves die or they just burn out. And that’s what made The Nothing Man so incredibly fascinating for me. I don’t think I’ve read a book before where the killer just decides that they’ve had enough, they’re too old, or the need to kill has just…gone. Seeing things from Jim’s point of view, this plain, ordinary man who used to be the talk of the town, had my attention 100%. I loved it. He’s a horrible human being, as you would expect, but I found him utterly intriguing.

I really liked Eve Black who is determined to find the man who killed her family, putting herself back in the spotlight to do so. Eve teams up with Detective Inspector Edward Healy who was involved in the original Nothing Man case all those years ago, and together they plough through everything they have, leaving no stone unturned. There must be something the original investigation missed and they’re going to find it. All of the attacks and murders are revisited in Eve’s book which made for riveting reading. I was hooked!

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. The Nothing Man is a compulsive, unsettling and thoroughly intriguing read. A completely different take on the serial killer thriller and I devoured it, captivated by the author’s well-written tale. True crime fans in particular will find something to love within the pages of The Nothing Man. I was gripped from start to finish and savoured every moment I had with this excellent book. And as a result, I look forward to reading more from the author very, very soon. All in all, a cleverly plotted novel unlike anything I’ve read before. Highly recommended.

The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard was published by Corvus Books on 6th May 2021 and is available in paperback, audio and digital formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | WaterstonesFoylesBook Depository | Goodreadsdamppebbles bookshop.org shop |

Catherine Ryan HowardCatherine Ryan Howard is an internationally bestselling crime writer from Cork, Ireland. Her debut novel, DISTRESS SIGNALS, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey/New Blood Dagger. THE LIAR’S GIRL (2018) was shortlisted for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. REWIND (2019) was shortlisted for Irish Crime Novel of the Year and is currently being developed for screen by Clerkenwell Films (Misfits, Lovesick, The End of the F***ing World.) THE NOTHING MAN was a no. 1 Irish Times bestseller and a no. 1 Kindle bestseller (UK) and was shortlisted for Irish Crime Novel of the Year. Her latest novel, 56 DAYS, was published in August 2021. It is a thriller set in lockdown that Catherine wrote while she was in lockdown.

Prior to writing full-time, Catherine worked as a campsite courier in France and a front desk agent in Walt Disney World, Florida. She still wants to be an astronaut when she grows up.

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