Book Reviews

Review — The Nightmare Place by Steve Mosby

Book title: The Nightmare Place
Author: Steve Mosby
Publisher: Pegasus Crime (Pegasus Books)
Release date: June 2015
Format: Hardcover, 328 pages
Source: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Iris and Pegasus Books!

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Synopsis:

The new suspense thriller from CWA Dagger winner Steve Mosby, “one of a handful of writers who make me excited about crime fiction.” (Val McDermid)

Sometimes, there’s a thin line between love and hate. Or at least that’s one theory for DI Zoe Dolan, tracking the Creeper—a stalker who’s been breaking into women’s homes and attacking them. But the Creeper’s violence is escalating and there’s no pattern, no clue as to how he’s getting in, and no clue as to who’s next. Until Jane Webster gets a call to the helpline where she volunteers. It’s meant to be a confidential service and Jane is torn—it could be a hoaxer, but the soft voice at the end of the line has the ring of truth about it. He says he loves these women—but it’s a love that ends in blood. When Jane tells the police, it should be the lead that Zoe needs—but it only pulls her further into a case that is already taking her dangerously close to the past she’s never fully escaped. For Jane, Zoe and all the other young women of the city, suddenly nowhere is safe. Particularly their own bedroom at the dead of night…

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Okay, so I’m doing this review a little differently… Trying out a new review format to spice things up!


What is this book about? The Nightmare Place is, in short, a search for a creeper who steals into women’s homes and viciously attacks them. It follows Detective Inspector Zoe Dolan as she tracks down the elusive stalker, whose terrible crimes keep escalating, with help from Jane Webster, a telephone helpline volunteer who gets a call from seemingly the Creeper himself.

What did you think of the characters? They all served their purpose well, but I liked Zoe the most. She wasn’t the warmest person, but had great, trusting relationships with her friends, former detective John who was sort of a mentor to her, and her current partner, Detective Inspector Chris. Zoe was impulsive, though, which I knew was just going to spell trouble, and I had to remind myself that she was used to being in dangerous situations, as that was pretty much in her job description. I didn’t love any of the characters, but I did grow attached to the two female leads.

Which character did you identify with the most? Probably Jane. If I got a series of strange, disturbing calls from a man detailing horrific acts he’d done against women, I’d be likely to put my job in jeopardy (since the helpline is all about confidentiality) by going to police and reporting it. Something so horrendous really shouldn’t go unnoticed. Plus, I’d always have that “what if?” floating in my head, making me feel guilty if I hadn’t done something. Props to Jane for doing the right thing, even if it meant she got tangled up in things. Eep.

Did you enjoy the POV? The book is told in third person through the eyes of multiple characters, mainly Zoe and Jane, but also some other people who are related in some way or another to the man behind all the attacks. I thought that the first chapter, told from the perspective of the stalker, was so well done, and really creepy/disturbing. An excellent start to the book, definitely.

Was the plot believable? Yes, it was. But also a tad bit predictable. From the get-go I knew there was bound to be a certain scene that would probably make the book’s climax. Maybe I’ve just watched too much Law and Order: SVU.

How would you describe the author’s writing style? Like most thrillers and crime novels, The Nightmare Place is written very cinematically. While there are some slower parts in it, the book is well-explained, direct, and relatively fast-paced. Characters’ emotions feel real, situations are tense, and there is certainly a dark atmosphere looming over the whole story. Thumbs-up to Steve Mosby for writing an exciting novel like this.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? I would, if that friend is interested in thrillers, and is okay with knowing they’re going to be reading about the search for a rapist and murderer. This is some heavy stuff. It’s a good book, one I read most of in one sitting, but it’s perhaps not something you want to read before going to sleep. If you do, you’re definitely going to contemplate putting a hammer under your bed and making sure all your windows and doors and locked tight at night. ♦


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Have you read The Nightmare Place?
If you haven’t, would you be interested to?
What’s a super-dark book you’ve recently read?
How about a thriller, or a crime novel?
Comment below letting me know!
And, as always, happy reading!

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