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The Nothing Man Reader Reviews

The Nothing Man

Julie Watkin

An original and clever concept. When the victim is writing a book to draw out her killer what could possibly go wrong!

This is a really cleverly written story. It's set on the backdrop of a peaceful Ireland where serial killers are few and far between. Eve, who was the sole survivor of a horrific attack on her family is determined to catch the man who killed her family. The book is written both from her perspective as the author and also from the killers which allow the plot to be wonderfully interwoven to create intrigue and suspense. The killer feels safe and beyond anyone's reach as no-one has got a clue who he is and his crimes were so long ago. But when Eve decides to write this book it all comes back to the surface and now it's a battle to see who will survive.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good crime thriller and it kept me gripped until the end to see how it would all end.

Dana Captainino

I have never read a book like this before – and I liked it a lot! It is rare and it is unusual featuring a real-life crime memoir - documentary-style writing within a fictional story.

I have never read a book like this before – and I liked it a lot! It is rare and it is unusual featuring a real-life crime memoir - documentary-style writing within a fictional story.

Eve Black’s entire family were murdered by a serial killer in 2001 when she was only 12 years old. She escaped the horror by hiding but has spent nearly 20 years both dealing with the aftermath and trying to solve the crime – who is the killer?

The police at the time were baffled as no discernible clues were left at the crime scenes and their lines of investigation soon trickled into nothing.

Nearly two decades after the event Eva Black publishes her book – The Nothing Man – the title the police and media gave the murderer. The marketing campaign attracts huge interest and the book is flying off the shelves.

One of the people reading it is Jim Doyle, a supermarket security guard, deeply unpopular and bored with life but seemingly innocuous. But he is the killer and as he sinks further into the book it becomes clear that Eve’s investigations into who had committed the crimes was beginning to move nearer to the truth. He knew he needed to act now before it was too late.

There are a few obligatory twists to the tale, but the final pages hold surprises too difficult to guess. I had to check the disclaimer at the end – ‘this is a work of fiction……’ You really do find yourself being drawn in.

Carol Peace

It will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

Eve had a tragedy happen 20 years ago, her parents and sibling were murdered in their house and she was the only one left alive. She has now in her adulthood written a book about 'The Nothing Man' as she calls him and the other murders he went on to commit and she is hoping this book will prompt people to remember clues to who he is although she infers she already knows.

This is split into two narrators Eve herself and the 'Nothing Man' who having got away from detection some time ago is leading a 'normal' life.

I was hooked on this book from very first page and still glued to the book on the very last page. I absolutely loved this book.

Miriam Smith

All in all a story I really did enjoy and I’d happily recommend The Nothing Man to fiction and non fiction crime readers young and old.

Last year’s Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard was a five star read for me ticking all the boxes of a tense thriller, so I was very much looking forward to starting her latest novel The Nothing Man. With an intriguing title and a blurb to set the pulse racing before even opening the pages, I couldn’t wait to get started on what sounded like a unique and thrilling read.

“I was the girl who survived the Nothing Man. Now I am the woman who is going to catch him... Two Stories. One Killer. No Mercy”


Set in Cork, Ireland where the author is from, this part fiction, part fictionalised true crime, read like a realistic true crime memoir with chapters interspersed with the killer, whom we know from the start is called Jim and his thoughts and reactions as he reads the book written about himself. Eve Black is the author, the lone survivor of his worst and final attack and she is determined that by writing about ‘The Nothing Man’ (dubbed because the Gardai had ‘nothing’ to identify him) that she will finally uncover who he is and bring him to justice.

A couple of things near the end just had me doubting the integrity of the story a little, but this cat and mouse thriller entertained me from start to finish with a unique layout and storytelling. I found the whole story easy to follow and understand, especially with everything explained in the true crime parts. In the early pages, I was quite freaked out with the killer creeping up the stairs while his victims slept and felt Catherine did an extra job in drawing me into the dark and atmospheric scenes.

All in all a story I really did enjoy and I’d happily recommend The Nothing Man to fiction and non fiction crime readers young and old. I expect it to do really well with readers who are maybe looking for just that something different from the usual run of the mill serial killer thrillers.

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/35740838-miriam-smith

Book Information

ISBN: 9781838951061
Publication date: 6th August 2020
Author: Catherine Ryan Howard
Publisher: Corvus an imprint of Atlantic Books
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 352 pages
Genres: Books of the Month, Reader Reviewed Books, Crime / Mystery, Star Books, Thriller / Suspense,
Categories: Crime & mystery, Thriller / suspense,