justinkhchen's review against another edition

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3.0

3 stars

Too much of a fact-by-fact replay of its true crime inspiration, The Nothing Man is basically a thinly-veiled fictionalization of the Golden State Killer, AKA Joseph James DeAngelo, a serial killer/rapist active during the 70s and 80s, and finally arrested in 2018 with newly discovered evidence. Other than swapping California to locations in Ireland, and altering a couple statistics, the novel shows very little of the author's actual creative interpretation. The perpetrator had the same m.o. as its real-life counterpart, down to sharing the same setups to the various crimes committed. Even though it is told in a creative, book-within-book format, I would still think it's possibly more immersive consuming the story from a more direct source, including an actual nonfiction written by a woman searching for the killer's identity, I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara.

Written by an Irish author based in Ireland, I can perhaps understand The Nothing Man's appeal in its home country (or outside the US in general), where the crimes it referenced might not be as well-known. But as a US-based reader, the Golden State Killer has had its moment in the spotlight, with numerous reports, podcasts and documentaries reiterating its details; under that context, The Nothing Man feels like an unnecessary redundancy that thinly altered the facts without being truly inspired by them.

If you're interested in the real case, I would recommend the 6-part coverage made by the podcast Casefile.

gayatriii's review

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4.0

Very interesting format/idea for a thriller. Crime novels more often than not follow the established format of - body found-detectives called-red herrings-killer found. The best we can hope for is surprises within that format.
But Katherine throws that away and builds a really creative storytelling device and for that alone she deserves much credit.
Eve lost her entire family to a violent crime when she was only 12 yrs old, the perpetrator was never caught, and now as an adult, Eve has written a book detailing the entire experience in the hopes of reviving interest in the case and solving it once and for all.
Unbeknownst to her, the book is also picked up by the serial killer. So we read Eve's book, and then hear from him on his version of what happened and his reactions.
It's a compelling read. Frightening for any woman who's worst fear is an intruder in the night. There were times some of the crimes in the book coincided with nighttime reading and I had to check if my doors were locked.

But, I wasn't chuffed about the ending. Felt very melodramatic. It was a very movie-like ending to what until then felt like a grounded, believable and realistic story.

eleanorxcharlotte's review against another edition

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dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.0

lillybookland's review against another edition

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3.0

3,5 stars

stormyanja's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional mysterious sad tense medium-paced

4.75

audgpodg's review against another edition

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4.0

4.5. what a rollercoaster. very unique writing style of mixing true crime and fiction together. had me making sure my doors were locked numerous times.

bosh's review against another edition

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dark reflective medium-paced

3.0

Enjoyable story and will have to check out authors other books. There isn't a ton of tension until a few sections 3/4 of the way through.

twoo_17's review against another edition

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dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

amanda071's review against another edition

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adventurous dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5

bookph1le's review against another edition

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3.0

3.5 stars

I found this engrossing, and I thought the story-within-a-story structure worked pretty well, making this an innovative way of telling a mystery/thriller.