Stuff on Sunday: For a cheap thrill…

Today marks the end of Thrill Week II hosted at Tea Time with Marce and this week I have read and reviewed five books that fall under the category of the thriller genre.

Velocity by Steve Worland

The Vanishing Point by Val McDermid

The Geneva Trap by Stella Rimmington

After the Darkness by Honey Brown

Disgrace by Jussi Adler -Olsen

The thriller genre is difficult to define because it is an umbrella term that usually shares elements with other genres of popular literature, examples of these include;

  • Medical thriller (Coma by Robin Cook; The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen)
  • Legal thriller (Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow/ Final Jeopardy by Linda Fairstein)
  • Disaster thriller ( The Poseidon Adventure  by Paul Gallico/Richter 10 by Arthur C Clarke)
  • Action-Adventure thriller (Ice Station by Matthew Reilly/Killing Floor by Lee Child)
  • Supernatural thriller (The Stand by Steven King/ Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill)
  • Techno thriller (Digital Fortress by Dan brown/Jurassic Park by Michael Chrichton)
  • Spy Thriller (The Spy Who Loved Me by John LeCarre/ The Bourne Idenity by Robert Ludlum)
  • Psychological  Thriller (Shutter Island by Denis Lehane/Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Bolton)
  • Political/Corporate Thriller (Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy/Company Man by Joseph Finder)
  • Crime thriller (Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter/Broken Harbour by Tara French)
  • and more…..

It is generally agreed though that in a thriller:

  • the stakes have to be life or death – perhaps its the fate of a kidnapped child, or the threat of nuclear warfare,
  • the protagonist has to be trying to stop some catastrophe from happening – for example preventing further murders by a serial killer or stopping an airplane being blown up
  • the protagonist/s has to be in danger – not only physically but also their emotional or mental well being may be at risk
  • there is some type of time pressure involved, creating a fast paced story

So tell me, what type of thriller is your favourite, and what thriller novel do you recommend?

(you can amuse yourself with Michael Jackson’s Thriller video while you think about your answer )

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nicola
    Sep 09, 2012 @ 08:33:46

    Cute! That video sure brings back memories. My sister had that jacket.

    I like them all!! Well almost. It will be easier for me to say which I don’t like. For some reason I just can’t get into Legal or Medical thrillers. If the main character is a lawyer or if the theme is all about some medical issue I just can’t get into it. This is kind of wierd because I love shows like Law & Order and House/ER. Everything else, bring it on! My favourite is the psychological thriller and I recommend any of Laura Lippman’s standalone’s.



    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Sep 09, 2012 @ 16:02:31

      I’ve bought two of Laura Lippman’s stand alones that I am yet to read though plan to. I love medical thrillers, and most legal thrillers but like you I enjoy psychological thrillers the most



  2. laurelrainsnow
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 01:33:42

    I think my favorites are the legal thrillers and the psychological thrillers. What a thrill week!




  3. parrish lantern
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 06:13:37

    Pandaemonium – Christopher Brookmyre, Out-Natsuo Kirino, Tomorrow Pamplona – Jan van Mersbergen, The Car Thief – Theodore Weesner, & Villain – Shuichi Yoshida, are I think great examples of thrillers.



  4. James Aach
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 04:44:07

    With obvious self-interest, I would recommend “Rad Decision: A Novel of Nuclear Power”, which has been compared favorably by readers with Digitial Fortress and some of Michael Crichton’s work. It is available free online at my website or just google “Rad Decision”. There’s a paperback out there as well if that is your thing. I’ve worked in the US nuclear power industry over twenty years and have produced a thriller that gives real insight into how these machines work. It turns out the reactor and bad event I profile bear some strong simularities to Fukushima as well.



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