The Nothing Man Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
At the age of 12, 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....
|Listening Length||9 hours and 57 minutes|
|Author||Catherine Ryan Howard|
|Narrator||Alana Kerr Collins, John Keating|
|Audible.ca Release Date||August 04 2020|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #112,926 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#7,161 in Suspense (Audible Books & Originals)
#32,128 in Suspense (Books)
#34,813 in Literature & Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from other countries
The opening excerpts are truly heartbreaking. The raw explanation of the survivors feelings, the parts of her life she missed, the things she will never know, the sister she was too young to appreciate and will never see grow up are written so emotionally and believably you have to pause to understand that this is a ‘fake’ true crime novel. They get to the core of issues most people don’t think about with murders, and set the scene superbly but also in a totally different light from normal.
And that’s just the start.
I tried reviewing distress signals, the liars girl and rewind and it’s hard to fully explain why you are giving them glowing five star recommendations without spoiling anything. This is no different. But the author has an amazingly uncanny knack for truly getting inside the heads of her characters and relating everything to the reader. Whether it’s a psychopath, a frightened little girl, a confused adult, a sympathetic but disbelieving police officer or any other character brought along for the ride, she switches between them effortlessly, believably, immersively and it makes everything all the more haunting.
This is a brilliant book, the suspense so gripping that you want to race through as quickly as Jim does within it - I was gripped from start to finish, the only problem being I now have nothing left of he authors work and have to wait for her next one to come out!!
Based in Cork City, The Nothing Man is receiving huge praise from many quarters
‘A deftly blended composite of the serial killer, psychological thriller and true crime narratives, The Nothing Man is a compelling novel that brilliantly deconstructs the genres clichés of the charming sociopath' – The Irish Times
‘Riveting from beginning to end. Whipsmart, thrilling and utterly compelling' – Liz Nugent
The Nothing Man is written in an extremely ingenious manner. It is a book within a book. Jim Doyle, is a security guard in a supermarket when, one day, his eye is drawn to a book entitled The Nothing Man. Jim’s is initially intrigued but, as he starts to read it, his anger swells. This book is about him. Jim Doyle was nicknamed The Nothing Man when his violent actions led to multiple traumas and death. Jim was a sadistic, vile individual who got pleasure from hurting women but as his actions got more horrific, Jim craved more. Jim Doyle was never caught. Always one step ahead of the Gardaí he was given the moniker, The Nothing Man. They could get nothing on him. Until now….
Almost twenty years ago Eve Black was the sole survivor following a horrific and violent attack in her family home. Eve was taken to the West of Ireland by her grandmother to escape the frenzy of the media and also for her own safety. At 12 years old, Eve was unable to process what really happened that night, locking away the trauma. She created a new identity, finished school, went to college but could never settle. Drawn to writing she took a course and submitted a short piece about her past. Her teacher knew there and then that there was a book in Eve. She needed to tell the world her story. With the assistance of An Garda Siochána, Eve trawled through old records and information in an attempt to piece together the movements of this monster, this man who had wrecked her life and that of many others.
Eve had to face many demons during this research trying to trace back over the months these crimes were committed. With the use of modern technology and collating all the information now on hand Eve writes her book, naming it after the monster who killed her family. Is Eve any closer to finding the truth? Will this book draw out the killer?
Jim Doyle is panicked. He has covered his tracks well but his temper begins to fray. Why now? Why is she looking for him? Has she figured out his identity? As Jim reads deeper into the book, the reader jumps between two books, one written by Eve Black and the one written by Catherine Ryan Howard. As unorthodox as this may sound, it works really well.
Jim is a married man, retired from his previous job and now working part time in security. He is depicted as a very angry man, a man with a major chip on his shoulder. His wife, a cowering individual who has led a very lonely life alongside this bully of a husband, is walking on eggshells as his mood swings are more frequent. The reader is offered insights into why Jim Doyle tread such a violent path but there is no sympathy for this evil man.
The Nothing Man is set in Cork, my hometown. While reading it I found myself quite jittery out in public spaces. I was nervous of going outside after dark. There is an underlying, creeping sense of menace throughout this book and as the story unfolds the evilness of The Nothing Man is excellently depicted. This really is a high-concept thriller and it is only through reading it that you will truly understand what I mean by that. The characters are all very well fleshed out and it is really quite fascinating to see how Catherine Ryan Howard brought the story to it’s inevitable climax.
A possible movie in the making I would think, the malevolence permeates throughout the novel and definitely, for someone like me living in Cork, it felt terrifyingly real. Much of Catherine Ryan Howard’s writing is inspired by true-life events and The Nothing Man is no different, adding a real touch of authenticity to her novels.
“My new novel, The Nothing Man came from reading another book: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara. It detailed the late McNamara’s obsessive search for the identity of a serial rapist and murderer nicknamed the Golden State Killer. Two months after the book came out, a man was arrested and charged with the Golden State Killer’s crimes. It got me thinking: had he been aware of the book? Did he read it? What was his reaction to it if he did? I started planning a book that was half a (fictitious) true crime book and half the killer’s reaction to it as he reads.”
– Catherine Ryan Howard
The actions of a serial killer always create that sense of shock yet also a twisted kind of curiosity. With The Nothing Man, Catherine Ryan Howard explores it from a very different and intriguing angle. A very unique read, one that I can happily recommend to all.
Menacing. Original. Tense.
What followed was one of the most original thrillers I have ever read and frankly could have been set anywhere in the world. What a refreshing change!
The book follows a duel narrative and flips between the victim and murderer. We, the reader, know who The Nothing Man is from the beginning - the question is will everyone know his identity by the end? I thought that Catherine Ryan Howard's idea to have the murderer read his victims "tell all" memoir was a genius idea. The attention to detail was fantastic - it really felt like a book within a book. The tension was expertly cranked up bit by bit leading to a conclusion that had me holding my breath with anticipation to the very last line.
I don't know how this author has escaped my attention all these years but I am delighted to now be able to go back and read her previous novels. I highly recommend this book.
The plot is simple, we know who the killer is from the start, and we also know that Eve is determined to find and expose him. So, you would think, Game Over? ‘Nothing’ could be further from the truth. This is a very clever plot, and even if you put some of the pieces together from the start, it would not take you away from the level of suspense, the plot building, the thrills, and spills that just keep coming and keep you hooked.
Jim Doyle is a rapist and a killer that left behind a trail of heartache, loss, anger, and a number of lives shattered and destroyed, but ‘nothing’ of himself. No DNA, no obvious motive for selecting these women, and no remorse. Then he stopped.
However, one of those damaged souls is 12-year-old, Eve Black, who was the only one spared when the ‘Nothing Man’ murdered her parents and seven-year-old sister. Driven by the need to get justice eventually, Eve begins writing a book, excerpts of which form part of the stories structure. With the help from a local Policeman, Eve goes on the hunt for her family’s killer. Better still she lures him in – ‘nothing’ could be more exciting – right?
Review and Comments
I say clever because it was ingenious to have written a book within a book, then hop from the past to the present and have two people narrating it, and all of it achieved so seamlessly. Up there as one of the best plots ever.
The characters are also deeply drawn, the insights into the family’s anguish was palpable through their stories and their sense of loss unmistakable. The author gives us very real insights into the minds and trauma of victims from murder and rape. However, Howard did well to not stop there, as we are led into the mind of the serial killer, who continues to lead a normal life, their crimes oblivious to their families and their identity unknown. Their evil deeds meticulously planned, many serial killers give ‘nothing’ away. So Eve’s strategy to unmask this serial killer is simple; appeal to his ego or insult it!!!
A book that is written with such sensitivity, authenticity and with compassion. Tremendous, chilling, yet satisfying. Believable, sensational, and inspired by true events, Ingenious, intelligent yet simple. ‘Nothing’ better to read if you are a crime / thriller reader.