Cover Image: The Nothing Man

The Nothing Man

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Member Reviews

The Nothing Man
Catherine Ryan Howard

For #ThrillerThursday I wanted to highlight a book I recently read by Howard, The Nothing Man. I also listened to the audio book which was nothing short of fascinating. This thriller was written in a very unique voice and perspective - a memoir true crime sequence story within this gripping thriller novel with each chapter ending in a cliff hanger. ⁣
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This was AMAZING, smart, clever, addicting and seriously a nail biting thriller you must read! I highly recommend it. ⁣
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I loved the audio book and this really brought the book to a whole new level with the audio book.
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Firstly huge thank you to @blackstone audio and @netgalley for letting me listen and review this one!

So I’ve probably said this before but Ireland is my number one dream location to visit, so I am always drawn to books set there. So this point already had points going in but it was definitely not a let down.

The book is structured as a book within a book and that was fun and different.

We’re getting the story of a serial killer, and then the serial killers thoughts, chapter by chapter.
As someone who reads a lot of thrillers I love when an author finds a fresh way to tell a story, and this one delivered that for me.
I loved our main character Eve. Her chapters were heartbreaking and terrifying. 
Our serial killer gave me golden state killer vibes and he is my literal nightmare so this book gave me goosebumps!

Also I cannot recommend this on audiobook enough. Great narrators who had me deeply sucked into this book.
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This is a book within a book. It had me immediately. The narrators were amazing!

The Nothing Man (named because he left no clues) struck when Eve was 12 years old; she was the only surviving member of her family. As an adult, she writes a true crime memoir about the Nothing Man, his other victims and his final attack on her family. She is determined to be the one who finally catches him. The suspense builds as the killer reads her newly released memoir. It was a real thriller!

Thank you to #NetGalley, #Catherine Ryan Howard and #Blackstone Publishing for an e-audio ARC for a review.
#TheNothingMan ISBN13: 9781538519738
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The only survivor of a brutal crime decides she will not be a victim any more. 

At only twelve years old, Eve was the only member of her family to survive the night a serial killer entered her home.  The killer was never caught and her family's case was one of several attributed to the elusive serial killer dubbed "The Nothing Man" that went unsolved. 

Years later, as an adult, Eve is obsessed with identifying the serial killer . She puts all her memories into words, detailing everything that she remembers from that awful night into a kind of true crime victim memoir. The book is an instant hit with almost everybody wanting to read it.

Jim is an aging security guard working at a grocery store. When this book is published, his world is rocked. He fervently reads the book. Is there enough information there to catch the elusive killer?  Jim reads on, hoping not - because he is The Nothing Man. Realizing that Eve remembers more than he thought, Jim must stop Eve before he is exposed to the world as a serial killer. 

I love a good thriller where it is difficult to tell which who is the hunter and who is the hunted. Though you know from early on that Eve is the victim and Jim is the serial killer, the story still has questions, and twists, and surprises. The tension builds as these two circle each other in their dangerous dance, until the final pages reveal a satisfying conclusion. 

Narration for this audiobook was provided by Alana Kerr Collins, and John Keating. Both performed well with clear voices, pleasant cadence, and giving a suitable range of emotion to the characters as the story played out. 

An enjoyable, engaging book for those that like suspense.
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The Nothing Man was such a clever thriller told through the dual perspective of the only surviving victim and the serial killer that murdered her family and many others. It was fast paced and end delivered more than one surprise that I definitely did not see coming!  The book inside of the book adds an interesting layer to the story too, making this a must-read for all True Crime lovers!  

The narration was done by Alana Kerr-Collins and John Keating and it truly enhanced the book. Their accents were not distracting and they were both very pleasant to listen to. You could truly feel the indignation, frustration, and anger that Jim had as the story progressed and he continued to read Eve's book through John's interpretation. And Alana brought just the right tone and cleverness to Eve's voice as she told story and interviewed all the other victims of the Nothing Man.

The fact that you start out know who the killer was, made the book very unique for me, compared to most of the other thrillers that I have read lately. The slow unwinding of the truth, Eve's research, and Jim's loss of control all made for a story that kept me at the edge of my seat! 

Thank you so much to Blackstone Audiobooks and Blackstone Publishing for my copy of this Audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
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The Nothing Man is one of my favorite thrillers of 2020. I loved the book within a book element, the characters, and the ending blew my mind. 
I listened to this as an audiobook and loved it. The dual narrators were spot-on and I loved the accents as well. 
Many thanks to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for the ALC.
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The Nothing Man is nothing but spectacular!

This is such a great thriller! It is intriguing, suspenseful, and addicting! The format was different and worked beautifully. I love that we know who the killer is and get the opportunity to get into his head and see what makes him tick. I was even more excited when we got a glimpse into his private life. I cannot imagine being the family of a killer and having no idea. Eve is also a great character! To lose your family at such a young age is unimaginable. Her courage and perseverance are admirable!

I am so glad this audiobook is told using two narrators, making it all the more intense and a very enjoyable listen!
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4.5 stars 
This is a book that is everything a thriller should be! It’s creepy and suspenseful and easy to get sucked into. I studied sociology in college and serial killers were fascinating to me. That’s morbid you say? Why yes, yes it is. But I loved learning about it. This book brought all that back. 


Jim is The Nothing Man- well he was 20 years ago. And now one of his victims is writing a book about him. He’s intrigued, he’s flattered but he’s mostly upset. He does what he can to read her book but to also find out more about her. And then he needs to stop her…

Oh, if you love thrillers, this is for you! It didn’t feel quite as creepy as I thought it would while “in his head” but I think that’s because the crimes were long before and he was an old man. He didn’t fit the profile we get of serial killers or, the author was just that good at bringing out his human side!

Content mentions are high, obviously. There is talk of rape (no details), details on the killings and the bodies, many F words and language in general. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Blackstone Audiobooks for the audio copy in exchange for an honest review.


For NetGalley;
The audio was really difficult to listen to! It would stop multiple times and not play for a day or two. Also each chapter was labeled Ch 52 so I could never tell where I was.
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The Nothing Man is an amazingly unique serial killer and psychological-thriller novel. I don’t want to give up any spoilers, so my review will be brief. Just suffice it to say, The Nothing Man is a creepy, brilliant and terrifyingly scary story. Around eight years ago a young girl, Eve Black, was the sole survivor of a serial killer’s attack on her family. Now, as an adult Eve is hell-bent on finding and exposing the identity of the elusive and foul killer. I finished reading this exceptional story in record time.
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What does murder look like through the eyes of the victim's family?  What does it look like through the eyes of the murderer?  After 20 years, Eve Black has written a book about the murder of her family, hoping it would bring forth new information that would bring him to justice.
  
The book's format is unique.  The story moves between reading chapters of Eve's book and the reaction and thoughts of the criminal himself.  Having left no evidence at the crime scenes, The Nothing Man doesn't fear capture, but the victim's stories bring forth feelings and emotions he thought buried.

The book's format brings forth the story so you feel close contact with the crimes.  It's an eerie look at the crimes and their aftermath.  A really, really good thriller.
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This book was so good. A wonderful thriller. Kept me up listening most of night. Will definitely look for more by this author!
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In this mystery thriller, you know the “who” from the very beginning. But why? And how did he get away with it?
The book alternates between the viewpoint of the murderer and the text of the true crime  memoir of one of his victims. Eve Black’s family was murdered by The “Nothing Man”. She writes a book of the same name and the murderer picks up the book and reads it. 
The book inside the book is compulsive and surprising. I loved this twist in the alternating viewpoints and that the book explicitly discusses how serial killers are celebrated and the victims are forgotten. This book centers the victim in an interesting way. 

The audio book was wonderfully narrated, the alternating actors made it easy to follow.
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The Nothing Man refers to the name of a book written by Eve, an author whose entire family was murdered by a serial killer in Cork, Ireland two decades ago.  The killer is called The Nothing Man because he has not left any clues or evidence, and twenty years later the case is considered to be cold.  The recently published book has been discovered by security guard Jim, who has a keen interest in the case.  He is riveted not only from the author’s words, but because he himself is The Nothing Man.

Told from the point of views from both Eve and Jim and in several points in time, the crimes and circumstances are revealed with just enough detail for this reader.  The information about the series of murders is well-presented and not sensationalized.  I appreciated the information I learned about serial killers in general, especially when Eve attends a lecture by an authority on the subject. The concept of The Nothing Man written by Catherine Ryan Howard telling the story of Eve’s book of the same name is fascinating - indeed Eve even thanks Catherine Ryan Howard in her book.  

I was engaged throughout the book and the book flowed well.  The characters are so well developed - we learn a tremendous amount amount Jim in particular. I admire Eve for her ability to not only carry on with her life after such loss, but to educate herself,  to proceed with this book and to have the courage to see it to the end.  I was satisfied with the ending. This book felt real to me,  with an understanding that these events could very well have occurred.  To me, this is the sign of a great thriller.

I listened to the audiobook version of this book which was narrated by Alana Kerr-Collins and John Keating.  I appreciated the narrators having an Irish accent and voices representing the characters.  I really felt the creep factor coming from John Keating - both as Jim and as The Nothing Man.  I’d recommend the audiobook to those that appreciate this format.

Thanks to Netgalley and Blackstone Publishing for the ARC of this book in exchange for the honest review provided here.
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Holy crap was this good! Admittedly I haven’t read a straight out thriller since last years ‘The Chestnut Man’ and The Whisper Man’, so it’s been awhile since I got caught up in a book that I could not put down, but let me tell you, this was that book. (Side note, what’s the deal with ‘man’ being in every title in this post? 😂)
Catherine Ryan Howard has taken a clever narrative structure in a story about a woman who, when she was twelve, was the only surviving member of her family in a home invasion murder. Years later she sets out for closure by writing a true crime book of the killer that hits the bestseller lists and resurrects the past. But it also awakens the sleeping dragon who has been dormant for years, who decides to set out to finish off the grisly job he didn’t finish. Half of the book is Eve’s story told both in the present tense threaded with sections from her book including his other victims, while the other half is the terrifying Nothing Man. The audio version which I alternated with is top notch, the Irish readers, especially hers, adding to an already thrilling read. if you were a fan of the @netflix series, ‘The Fall’ this will be right up your alley. It’s definitely creepy, has some good twists, and should keep you up well into the night to finish. Trigger warnings for Murder, home invasion & rape.
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The Nothing Man tells the story of a serial rapist and murderer, now an aged security guard reading about his exploits in a books written by the last surviving member of a family he murdered.  The premises alone had me hooked.

The audiobook version is done in 2 voices, that of The Nothing Man (narrated by John Keating) as he reads the book and reflects back on his life and of Eve Black (narrated by Alana Kerr-Collins), the survivor, as she writes the book.   You can feel his immersion into the story and as he reacts to the pages.  

Years after the death of her family at the hands of The Nothing Man and after many years of hiding her true identity and living in denial, Eve Black finds herself submitting a short story assignment about The Nothing Man that rings a little too true for her professor to believe it is a work of fiction.   

Encouraged to explore what really happened to her family, Eve, with the help of one of the police officers that investigated the killings, digs deep into the case files, unpacking memories and discovering links between her family’s attack and others.  

While her book begins with the awkward hesitation of someone revealing that yes, she is “The girl who survived”, it soon gains speed as Eve gains confidence and the tone changes.  Toward the end of her book, Eve’s feelings of fear are replaced with those of contempt for The Nothing Man.

Jim Doyle, The Nothing Man, is a middle-aged security guard, working in a grocery when he spots a woman with a book in her hand.  The title immediately sends shivers down his spine as he realizes it is a survivor’s account or his exploits as the Nothing Man.

Curious, Jim begins to read the book, going so far as to write corrections in the margins.  But his feelings of disgust and condescension slowly turn to rage. At first it is laughable that Eve thinks she can find new clues to track him down but the tables begin to turn as she finds more and more connections and calls out the Nothing Man for being more Nothing than Man. 

The author did a great job making Jim Doyle completely unlikable and there are a couple of good twists near the end.  I wasn’t entirely in love with how things resolved but overall this was a good read.   Great book club read or snowy evening, wrapped in a blanket read.

I also love the cover art that appears to be a torn dust jacket.  I am a sucker for a good book cover.

Thank you to Netgalley and to Blackstone Audio for the audio-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I was dismissive of this book for a while, no particular reason, I guess I just had to be in the mood for it. If I could go back and tell myself something it would be to read the book now! I devoured this audiobook in just a few days. I loved how creepy it was and the writing was phenomenal. This is a perfect fall read!
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I sure enjoy reading a true crime book or similar type. This is truly a good book and has suspense with a narrator who just makes the book so much better to me. I highly recommend you just try and sample and get hooked as I did. It had a surprise ending too so enjoy!
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At 12 years old, Eve was the only survivor of The Nothing Mans attack on her family. Now that she is an adult she is determined to find him. She is also finally ready to tell the story in her new book. Jim is at his job when he comes across the book. Jim immediately buys it so he can find out how much Eve has figured out about his past.

I loved this book! I loved the switch from reading Eve’s book, to changing the pov to Jim’s reactions to reading it. This one had me flipping pages well past my bedtime! It was such a unique way to write this thriller, and I am totally here for it! If you haven’t read this one yet you are missing out!
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Narration:


I enjoyed the narration of this book. The transitions between the 2 narrators were smooth and suited the story well. The audio quality was excellent. I think the narrator's voices were good matches to the characters they are portraying.


Story:


The story is an interesting concept but it didn't draw me in the way I wanted it to. Some places seemed to drag. I did enjoy that the narrative went back and forth between Eve's perspective of events and the murderer's perspective. I found Eve's method of coping with the events of her life to be fascinating. The murderer seemed to want me to feel sorry for him but I just couldn't see him as the wounded party in any of the events.
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This is a review of the audiobook version of “The Nothing Man”, this is also the first book that I have read/listened to by Ms. Howard. Wow, what a talented writer she is. I will definitely be looking forward to reading more of her novels.

The format of a book within a book is not an easy writing technique but this author does it flawlessly. Each part was easy to understand, equally interesting and flowed well.

Eve Black has been known as the “girl that survived The Nothing Man” since the age of 12. It has haunted and impacted her life and now, she has decided that she wants to be known as the woman who caught The Nothing Man. He was given this name because he never left any clues behind and the Garda could never find him. But, he never left any survivors before.

The narration in this book is fantastic!!!  We are able to hear the voice of Eve, who sounds intelligent and determined. At the same time we hear the voice of The Nothing Man, and it will scare the heck out of you, it sounds so fiendish and cold!

Hard to believe that Jim Doyle has been living in plain sight for all of these years. He has a family and is still working as a security guard. It will make you look at your neighbors in a whole different way!!!!!!

Without going into the gruesome killings, etc. I can reveal that this man is a psychopath. He had no regret for the crimes he committed and never felt a bit of compassion. He killed children as well as adults, Eve’s sister was only six years old. He is now reading Eve’s memoir and is infuriated that he left this survivor to tell her story, he plans to change that.

I had heard that this book was good and I can now vouch for how moving the audiobook was. 

This is terrifying without being too gory, it’s expertly written with great character development. It has everything I love in a great mystery/thriller.

I highly recommend this audiobook, you will not be disappointed.

I received this audiobook from the publisher through NetGalley.
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