Category Archives: Catherine Ryan Howard

Review: The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard

Title: The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense
Length: 288 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


At the age of twelve, Eve Black was the only member of her family to survive an encounter with serial attacker the Nothing Man. Now an adult, she is obsessed with identifying the man who destroyed her life.

Supermarket security guard Jim Doyle has just started reading The Nothing Man—the true-crime memoir Eve has written about her efforts to track down her family’s killer. As he turns each page, his rage grows. Because Jim’s not just interested in reading about the Nothing Man. He is the Nothing Man.

Jim soon begins to realize how dangerously close Eve is getting to the truth. He knows she won’t give up until she finds him. He has no choice but to stop her first


The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard is a unique serial killer novel.

Eve Black is the lone survivor of a serial killer who murdered her parents and seven year old sister.  Before killing her family, the murderer dubbed “The Nothing Man” began attacking women in their homes, then escalated to murdering women and sometimes their partners. Eve’s family were The Nothing Man’s final victims and eighteen years later, she is hoping someone will provide the information needed capture him.

With the help of Garda Sergeant Ed Healy, Eve is able to sift though police documents, visit old crime scenes and talk to surviving victims and their families. Her novel  is an instant hit and Eve is invited to discuss her book on television and the radio and book signings.  Eve is still holding out hope The Nothing Man will finally be identified. But will anyone provide the details the Garda need to capture the serial killer?

Security guard Jim Doyle accidentally stumbles across Eve’s novel and he secretly reads the book to find out exactly what she knows. Furious at some passages and stunned by others, he relives the thrill and power he felt during his attacks. Jim continues to feel invincible and much smarter than the Garda but he is growing certain he needs to take care of loose ends. And after a chilling encounter, Jim sets a plan in motion that endangers Eve’s life.  Is The Nothing Man still capable of murder and evading the police?

Set in Ireland,  The Nothing Man is an suspenseful novel. Utilizing the book within a book plot device, the story seamlessly switches between the pages of Eve’s novel and Jim’s reaction to the pages he is reading.  The descriptions of his attacks remain vague but there are enough details to understand the exact nature of Jim’s violent acts. Eve is a sympathetic narrator of her own story and she is honest that her memories are patchy and incomplete. With clever plot twists, Catherine Ryan Howard brings this innovative novel to a surprisingly uplifting conclusion. I enjoyed and recommend this fresh take on the serial killer novel.

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Filed under Blackstone Publishing, Catherine Ryan Howard, Contemporary, Rated B, Review, Suspense, The Nothing Man