The Nightmare Man
reviewed by Sheena Alizadeh
Ben Bookman is a best-selling Horror novelist, comparable to Stephen King. He has always wanted to be a writer and his own childhood was his inspiration for the stories. Ben grew up at his family’s mansion called Blackwood, filled with many hidden secrets.
Ben returns home for a weekend to help him finish his latest book The Scarecrow. Upon the release of the book, events from it happen in real life. The book opens up just as Ben’s very own book does as well. Families are found hanging from barn rafters, brutally murdered and bundled in cocoons of corn husks.
Father and daughter duo Detective Mills and Detective Blue are on the case to look into the Scarecrow crimes. Their dysfunctional relationship makes the job a little harder but both are determined to get to the bottom of it. As expected, Ben is their number one suspect and taken in for questioning. He doesn’t remember much, making the detectives even more suspicious. Ben quickly realizes he needs to clear his name and find the truth as a plague of horrors has been unleashed into his hometown.
There are quite a few characters introduced that can make it a little harder to keep track of with the plot however, each character does have their part of the story. There are many layers that seamlessly piece together by the end of the novel. When you think you know where it’s going, it takes you somewhere else entirely. It’s a very interesting and unique take on nightmares and the folklore behind it. Generational family trauma is also explored and how it affects the future.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book and thoroughly entertained. I would recommend it for any horror and mystery lovers. I find it comparable to the works of T. Kingfisher and even Stephen King himself. Make sure to check this out when it’s released and I look forward to more from Markert!
Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book.