BINGO – Holiday (I originally picked up this “horror” book for spooky season and Halloween, and I got a good chunk of the book read on a weekend vacation)
Gage Chandler is an experienced true crime writer. His debut book sold millions and was even turned into a movie. He’s good at what he does, and he has a system in place for really diving into and recreating locations for how they were when whatever grisly crime occurred. Gage’s agent floats a new idea to him: go write about a double homicide with ties to the occult in a small California town. Gage takes the job and moves into the house where the murders occur. While writing about this crime, connections to his past and to his other work come up in unexpected ways.
Let’s get first things out of the way. This is not a horror novel. There is very little horror, gore, tension, thrilling events, anything. What little bit of horror we do get seems to fall more in line with how a true crime writer would approach the topic and not a horror one. What this book mostly is a reflection on an artist, his process, and his impact.
The book is told in 7 parts: Chandler, The White Witch, Devil House, Song of Gorbonian, Devil House, White Witch, and Chandler. The book end sections are about our protagonist, his history, and his process. The sections titled The White Witch are about Chandler’s first true crime novel called, well, The White Witch. Similarly, the sections titled Devil House are about the novel that Chandler is currently working on. And then there’s Song of Gorbonian which is a very strange medieval tale about a prince avenging his dead father. I honestly could not tell you the connection to the rest of the book in any way, and the typeface that was used made it extremely difficult to actually read.
I think this could have been an enjoyable book if it were marketed differently. I just kept expecting and wanting things to shift to the horror that I was promised, but that never happened.