This Fun Size teaser will take a bit of a detour from the previous posts, as we take a look at one of the series that’s connected to the anthology. Die Laughing is the first book in a series following FBI Agent Benjamin Kroh. It was also my first foray into Ben Oneal‘s mind, and what a fun trip it was. The book was masterfully crafted, with some very unexpected turns to keep readers guessing.
As mentioned, Benjamin Kroh is one of the best the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit has to offer. When a body turns up along with a cooler full of finger tips, Kroh gets called back to the area he grew up in, with his team in tow. The body is staged and displayed publicly to appear initially as a suicide, with connections to the automotive industry that had closed up shop and moved out of town.
Eventually, as the killer attempts to throw Kroh off his trail, a second body is discovered in another town where yet another automotive factory had shut down and left. This angle was a small distraction, but I think there could be more backstory here that we aren’t privy to.
The storytelling was a bit different than I expected, as the perspective shifts throughout the book. During scenes that the main protagonist, Kroh, is present, the story is presented in first-person. When Kroh isn’t involved, it switches to third-person omniscient. It’s a little disorienting at first, simply because it’s not a common storytelling tactic, but it’s executed well and it’s easy to pick up on once it’s recognized.
Without trying to get into too much spoiler territory, the story involves multiple personalities from the killer’s point-of-view. The distinction between those personalities is very deliberate and clever. I’ll just leave this part at that.
With the likable characters, fast-paced plot, and short chapters that draw you into a sense of “just one more chapter” this was a very hard book to put down. I had to force myself to stop reading at night so I could get some sleep, and that doesn’t happen too often. I give it 4.5 fingertips out of 5.