Jim Doyle is an unremarkable man. Retired from the Garda Síochána, now in his sixties, works as a security guard for a department store. Jim is married and has a grown up daughter. However… his life was not always so benign. Twenty years ago he entered people’s houses. He frightened, raped, and in some cases killed innocent people – for reasons known only to himself. All that is behind him, he thinks, until one day, in the store where he works, he sees a new book display. The title of the book is “The Nothing Man“. But wait… HE IS the Nothing Man. That is the name given him back then when they could find nothing to apprehend the criminal doing these crimes. Curious, he buys a copy of the book and begins to read. His reading brings back many memories, many feelings, and lots of rage.Eve Black is the author of “The Nothing Man”. It is her story. When she was only twelve, The Nothing Man entered her home in the middle of the night and murdered her father, her mother, and her younger sister. Bereft, traumatized, and eager for some kind of closure, she has written this book in the hopes that it will help to catch the man who ruined her life, “The Nothing Man“.
She lost the bulk of her family that horrible night when she was twelve. Her paternal grandmother took care of her after that. Then, when Eve was only twenty-one years old, her grandmother died as well. Scarred for life from her trauma and now completely alone in the world, it took years for her to be ready to write her book.
What a brilliant thriller! The entire time I was reading I was desperately wondering… WHY? Why did Jim terrorize and even kill those people twenty years ago? Why did he commit five horrendous crimes, then STOP? Even the Gardaí agreed – these were crimes with no apparent motive and no physical evidence linked anyone to the crimes.
He seemed such a benign family man. He sort of faded into the woodwork. His crimes, at least in his own mind, made him powerful, special, a force to be reckoned with. That might go some way toward explaining why he began his two year long crime rampage, but WHY stop when he did?
I felt such sympathy for Eve. She had no family left. No one to share memories with, no one to share holidays with, no one who loved her unconditionally like families are supposed to.
I liked the relationship between Eve Black and Detective Sergeant Ed Healy who had never given up on the case of The Nothing Man. He was the man who linked the crimes as having been perpetrated by one person.
This is a thriller with more than one plot twist, all of which were written – to not disturb the integrity of the book, but to embellish it. All of my questions were answered in a satisfactory way, and most importantly, the ending left me gruntled.
This is an astute and skillfully rendered crime thriller that I will recommend heartily to anyone who will listen.
I received a digital ARC of this novel from Blackstone Publishing via Edelweiss. My unbiased review is my way of thanking the publisher and the author. I’m tackling my Edelweiss backlist one title at a time…
Catherine Ryan Howard was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1982. Prior to writing full-time, Catherine worked as a campsite courier in France and a front desk agent in Walt Disney World, Florida, and most recently was a social media marketer for a major publisher. She is currently studying for a BA in English at Trinity College Dublin.