21 Fast Hacks to suspense continues . . .

  1. Flip the hourglass, then flip it again.

In his café-society thriller A Season in Purgatory, Dominick Dunne skillfully works with time for maximum suspense. From the start we know a murder occurred many years ago, and we know the murderer will be exposed, because the narrator is describing a criminal trial. But then we’re transported back to the real beginning, where everybody is young and cute and—notably in the case of the victim—alive.

How was the crime committed, how was it hidden, how was it exposed? We won’t be satisfied until we flash forward again to the conclusion.

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