Becoming the Boogeyman is author Richard Chizmar's follow up to his 2021 bestseller Chasing the Boogeyman, which I enjoyed very much. While it is a sequel and it would be a good idea to read the first book, the sequel summarizes what happened in it. These are fiction books told as true-crime stories. And Chizmar is one of the main characters. This metafictional storytelling might have you wondering if they are based on real crimes. They aren't, but it certainly feels that way.
The first book was about a killing spree in the 1980s attributed to a man dubbed the Boogeyman, which took place in Chizmar's hometown of Edgewood, Maryland. Chizmar wrote a successful true-crime book about the killings. Decades later, the author is enjoying family life and his fame. But while walking his dog, Chizmar finds a bag filled with human remains which turns out to be of the only woman to survive the Boogeyman, now locked away in prison. This is just the beginning of what turns out to be a new killing spree. In what appears to be a copycat killer, Chizmar's life is turned upside down. The media is not kind to the man who has profited from the story of the Boogeyman, a loner Chizmar grew up with. Some even accuse the author of some connection to the new crimes.
As with the first book, the concept is very clever. Especially since placed throughout the book are photos of Edgewood taken during the investigation as well as photos of the victims before their deaths. The story is filled with gruesome details of horrible murders, which had me thinking of The Silence of the Lambs. If you couldn't handle that book or movie, this might not be a good fit for you. But I was completely absorbed in the story. Perfect for Halloween reading.
Rated 4.25 out of 5 stars.
Mystery Thriller | Horror.
Publication Date: October 17, 2023.
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