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Chasing the Boogeyman

The New York Times bestselling coauthor of Gwendy’s Button Box brings his signature “thrilling, page-turning” (Michael Koryta, author of How It Happened) prose to this story of small-town evil that combines the storytelling of Stephen King with the true-crime suspense of Michelle McNamara.

In the summer of 1988, the mutilated bodies of several missing girls begin to turn up in a small Maryland town. The grisly evidence leads police to the terrifying assumption that a serial killer is on the loose in the quiet suburb. But soon a rumor begins to spread that the evil stalking local teens is not entirely human. Law enforcement, as well as members of the FBI are certain that the killer is a living, breathing madman—and he’s playing games with them. For a once peaceful community trapped in the depths of paranoia and suspicion, it feels like a nightmare that will never end.

Recent college graduate Richard Chizmar returns to his hometown just as a curfew is enacted and a neighborhood watch is formed. In the midst of preparing for his wedding and embarking on a writing career, he soon finds himself thrust into the real-life horror story. Inspired by the terrifying events, Richard writes a personal account of the serial killer’s reign of terror, unaware that these events will continue to haunt him for years to come.

A clever, terrifying, and heartrending work of metafiction, Chasing the Boogeyman is the ultimate marriage between horror fiction and true crime. Chizmar’s “brilliant…absolutely fascinating, totally compelling, and immediately poignant” (C.J. Tudor, New York Times bestselling author) writing is on full display in this truly unique novel that will haunt you long after you turn the final page.

Book club offer


  • a personally signed and/or inscribed hardcover copy of CHASING THE BOOGEYMAN for each book club member
  • an exclusive signed chapbook featuring a chilling “boogeyman” short story for each club member
  • a private ZOOM or Skype appearance with author Richard Chizmar and your book club


It’s simple. Each member of your book club pre-orders a copy of CHASING THE BOOGEYMAN. You can order from Richard’s neighborhood indie bookstore, Caprichos Books, Amazon, or any other online or brick-and-mortar bookstore. Once you place your pre-order, you then email your order confirmation to cdancepub@aol.comand state that you are a Book Club member. Finally, have one person from your Book Club email to schedule your Zoom/Skype meeting with author Richard Chizmar.


* Order personally signed and/or inscribed copies of the hardcover from local indie bookstore, Caprichos Books, using this link

Or call them at: (410) 929-6081

* Order from Amazon or any other bookseller and receive a free signed bookplate when the book is published.

Published by: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 17, 2021

Praise & Reviews

One of Amazon’s 20 Best Mysteries & Thrillers of 2021

One of the Goodreads Most Popular Horror Novels of 2021 and a Goodreads Choice Award nominee for Best Books of 2021

One of LitReactor’s 10 Scariest Horror Books of 2021

One of the Chicago Public Library’s Best Books of 2021

One of’s Best Books of 2021

“Chizmar should win new fans with this unusual tale.” — Publishers Weekly

“For true crime and horror fans, this one’s essential.”
Library Journal

“As a horror writer, Chizmar knows how to build suspense and create a suitably chilling atmosphere, but mostly he suffuses this story with nostalgic affection for the well-meaning young man he once was and the people who shaped him. Can a serial-killer thriller warm the heart? This one does.” — “The Reader’s Shelf,” Library Journal

Chasing the Boogeyman does what true crime so often cannot — it offers both chills and a satisfying conclusion.”
Stephen King

“This is a brilliantly conceived, perfectly executed work of literary art.”
David Pitt Reviews

“A well told, mixture of background detail and action, suspense, compellingly paced.”
RA for All

“Chizmar is a best-selling author for a very good reason – his writing lures you and before you know it, you’ve read half the book and should have been asleep hours ago.”
Horror DNA

One of the “30 Most Anticipated Horror Books of 2021”
Read by Dusk

“In Chizmer’s skillful hands, the book becomes mystery, thriller, and a haunting tale of small-town life that lingers long after finishing.”
From the Pen of Mae Claire

“If you are a fan of mystery novels, thrillers, suspense, or horror — this book is a must read.” — Grimoire of Horror

“This is the best book that I have read in a long time and is certainly the only book of its kind that I have ever read.” — Ramblings of a Bookworm

“I genuinely don’t know what to think, and I like it.” — Book Nerd’s Brain Candy

Chasing The Boogeyman is a must-read for any horror or true crime lover.” — Horror Obsessive

Chasing the Boogeyman is certainly one of the best books of 2021. There is some stiff competition in and out of the horror genre, but I doubt I will find too many other books as rewarding as this one this year.” — Horror Drive-In

“Richard Chizmar births a new genre, and though many great authors have and continue to work off of and dwell in the horror-crime-thriller realm, this novel is wonderfully different.” — The Forgotten Fiction

“In the final analysis, Chasing the Boogeyman is a terrific read, engaging and eerie in its evocation of setting, character, and the crimes that plague both of these.” — ConsideringStories

“You’ll find yourself having to remember that Chasing The Boogeyman is not a true crime novel. You’ll also find yourself feeling very nervous in the dark, as the this deeply immersive book reels you in and keeps you captivated until the very last word.” — Buzz

“This is one of the most unique books I have ever had the pleasure of reading.” — Beauty, Books, and Cats with Brooke

“5 Stars” — Buttonholed Book Reviews

“This is the beat up, dog-eared paperback that you’re going to want constantly tucked into your back pocket so you can quickly find your place again.” — Ginger Nuts of Horror

“It is masterfully written, and the plotting is so watertight that not a single droplet of blood spills.” — The Mindflayer

Chasing The Boogeyman is an ultra-intimate unraveling of a community under an extreme terror threat. Writing as a fictional persona of himself and setting the plot in his hometown, the author delivers a uniquely descriptive work that delves with delicious detail into the dark heart of Americana in 1988. ” — Horror Nation

Chasing the Boogeyman is a brilliant psychological and horror novel, sucking the reader into the tragedy and fear that overcomes the town.” — The Free Lance-Star

“I recommend Chasing the Boogeyman by Richard Chizmar to those readers who like excellently written books. … I recommend this novel to fans of true crime, to people who are encountering a reading slump, and readers of spine chillers and mystery books.” — Gobookmart

“This is a fresh take on serial killers that doubles as a memoir and makes both things work in ways that will satisfy readers across genres.” — criminalelement

“You’re going to *love* this. Chizmar’s enchanting abilities will hook you and draw you under the surface until he decides to let you go, and then you’ll realize you’ve just been comfortably on the beach the whole time with a book in your hand.” — Horror Bound

“Readers will love it, regardless of if you’re a true crime, horror, mystery, or thriller fan. It has all the pieces and is one of my only five-star books of the year. I can’t wait to read more from Chizmar.” — Horror Geek

Chasing the Boogeyman is the scariest thing Chizmar has ever written because it is real, and the opportunity for becoming a victim of this evil killer is always a reality. A tense and gripping read from start to finish.” — Hellnotes

“With elements of Boy’s Life, Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Body recast through the prism of Chizmar’s very real past, Chasing the Boogeyman is a masterpiece.” — The Day

Chasing the Boogeyman is the perfect combination between fear and thrilling. A master of his craft. ” — FanFiAddict

Chasing the Boogeyman’s chilling atmosphere, originality and slow burning yet suspenseful storyline will certainly catapult it to best-of lists for 2021. Highly recommended if you need something fresh and real.” — Crime Fiction Lover

“Chizmar hits it out of the park. … Chizmar is a natural storyteller. The world he shows us is evocative and lovingly described.” — Dave Writes and Draws (and Reads)

“It’s small-town horror that blurs the lines a little too well between fiction and fact; you’ll find yourself questioning whether the account is real or not as it sends chills up your spine.” — Bloody Disgusting

“Chizmar writes with easy rhythm and affection about coming of age and, later, coming home — but the darkness and uncertainty about the identity of the murderer quicken the heartbeat and adrenaline beautifully.” — The Day

“If you like unshakably unsettling, striking original storytelling, and crimes that are almost true, this story is for you.” — The Lineup

“No book I have read in 2021 has got under my skin quite like Chasing the Boogeyman. … Time to amend that best of 2021 reading list.” — Bloody Flicks

“True crime meets thriller fiction, and it’s an effective and well-told look behind the scenes of a town in terror.” — StarTribune

“Richard Chizmar’s Chasing the Boogeyman, which bridged the gap between fiction, biography, and true crime, was perhaps the most unique book I read in 2021. In a way, Chizmar invented his own genre, and that’s more than enough to cement his status as one of horror fiction’s greats.” — Locus

“This is a book I could read again and enjoy it as much as the first time.” — The Scary Reviews

Chasing the Boogeyman’s cover . . . I could stare at all day—but the book itself is even more mesmerizing.” — shereads

“A clever, terrifying, and heartrending work of metafiction, Chasing the Boogeyman is the ultimate marriage between horror fiction and true crime. Chizmar’s writing is on full display in this truly unique novel that will haunt you long after you turn the final page.” — Sunset


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