The Nothing Man offers something a bit different to the serial killer, cat-and-mouse thriller staple and two nights running I read up until midnight because I wanted to know what would happen. Initially, the book-in-a-book idea made me a little sceptical but I needn’t have been. We have two narrators; the first, of our book, is Jim Doyle, who we already know is the serial killer in question; the second, of the book he’s reading, is Eve Black, a woman who survived Jim’s most brutal attack as a child. Neither are 100% trustworthy, which adds some nice extra layers of mystery. Catherine Ryan Howard has done well to make Jim a really odious figure and – despite him being our primary narrator – we really want him to get caught.
Added bonus is this is not a thriller set in America, like so many are; it’s set in Ireland, in otherwise sleepy Co. Cork, and this gives the impact of the murders a little more punch because they truly stand out in the collective memories and because we know then that law enforcement was never prepared for such crimes.
Overall, this is a captivating read and well worth looking into for a bit of a different approach to storytelling in the thriller genre.
This was an Advanced Reader Copy, courtesy of NetGalley and the publishers, in exchange for honest review.