BINGO – Time (spoilers)
I checked this audiobook out from my local library on a whim. I wanted a thriller/horror for Halloween time and this was available. I figured since the author, Alaina Urquhart, was the host of a popular true-crime podcast that this book would be a fun but forgettable book. I did not anticipate how much I would enjoy it.
The book is told from the point of view of two people: Medical Examiner Wren Muller and a serial killer known as The Butcher. Wren is a consummate professional who is committed to catching the person causing so much pain and death in New Orleans. She is intelligent and courageous in the face of a serial killer who is seemingly circling and hunting Wren. The Butcher is a sadistic killer who hurts and hunts people purely for the thrill. He is cold and calculating, but Wren is staying on the case because she knows The Butcher is bound to mess up.
The story alternates between Wren and The Butcher’s narration. There are two voice actors who narrate the book, one for Wren’s chapters and one for The Butcher’s. I usually don’t like this style of narration. I would much rather stick with one character and really dive into what they are feeling and experiencing, but this really works. Urquhart even manages to subvert expectations of how this narrative style is typically used. SPOILERS BELOW:
Throughout the first half of the book or so, the two points of view are presented as if all events are happening in real time: The Butcher kills someone in his chapter, the body is found, and Wren and her team investigate in her chapter. However, we soon learn that most of what we have read from The Butcher’s POV all happened in the past with only Wren’s chapters happening in the present (hence the time BINGO square). This has more implications on the plot that I won’t spoil.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book from start to finish. I only wish it had been a tad longer. There were a few moments that I think warranted expansion, but this is a minor criticism. The characters are great, including support ones. The plot is tight (albeit maybe too tight). But the tension is way dialed up throughout. Even the ending was enjoyable which is hard to land. I had an idea of how Urquhart was going to end things, but she made a bold choice for the ending which works.