It’s that time of year again: Thrillerfest ’16 is here and in full swing! Let’s be honest, if there’s one thing keeping most of us up at night it’s a scary movie or book. There’s just something about that thrill that really gets our heart racing. So, of course, it only seems fitting that not only do we fall for a great thriller book, but in turn, we fall for the author of that book, too. Most of readers have a preference when it comes to any author in general. There are some people who read more of one author than another, some authors you may just be discovering, and some that you’re just so completely obsessed with, you’re on the edge of your seat until the next book is released.
We feel exactly the same way and so since #Thrillerfest16 is underway, we thought it’d be fun to do a BookTrib staff roundup of our favorite thriller authors:
I geek out every time I hear about Gillian Flynn. I’m particularly excited about her newest book, The Grownup (Crown Publishing, November 2015). A fraudulent psychic enters a Victorian home and soon realizes the ‘great beyond’ might just lie behind a creaky door. Paying homage to the classic ghost story, Flynn continues to demonstrate that she is one of the most talented and gifted voices in fiction.
Steve Berry is the author of so many great, page-turning thrillers, he has to be at the top of my list and the history found in every one of his books teaches the reader something new while totally entertaining them. His books cover history of ancient China, the times of the Templar knights, intrigue at the Vatican, Queen Elizabeth (my favorite was The King’s Deception [Ballantine Books, 2014]) Christopher Columbus, Abe Lincoln, Alexander the Great, and much more.
I was introduced to Mary Higgins Clark at a very young age and have enjoyed reading her wonderful mysteries for more than three decades, beginning with Where Are the Children, and continuing through to her Under Suspicion series co-authored with Alafair Burke. Her latest book, As Time Goes By (Simon & Schuster, April 2016) is on my list of vacation book must-reads and I can’t wait to purchase my copy. There is always an abundance of thrills and adventures in her books, not as dark as James Patterson, but a sure-fire page turner, nonetheless. If you’ve never had the pleasure of reading Higgins Clark, I highly recommend you slip into your flip flops and run out and pick up a copy; there’s plenty to choose from. I can assure you, it will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship!
If someone mentions the word thriller, visions of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist racing through the busy streets of Stockholm chasing secret after secret fill my mind. Without a doubt, Stieg Larsson‘s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Knopf, 2008) is a chilling series I will never forget about. Finishing the first book seemed like a huge accomplishment, considering the extensive list of The Vanger family names (husbands, wives, children, cousins, aunts, grandparents, etc.) But after flying through the last few chapters, Larsson then immediately draws you into his twisted crime world from one novel to the next. And the latest Millenium series novel, The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A Lisbeth Salander novel (Knopf, 2015), by is just as great as the previous novels, despite not being penned by Larsson. I don’t know if its Lisbeth or Mikael or both, but either character will have you gripping the side of your pages dreaming of hacking computers in a dark ominous room while you’re all tatted up.
I think my favorite thriller writer right now is Blake Crouch. He wrote the Wayward Pines Trilogy, which is now a TV show on Fox. The first book is Pines, then Wayward and finally, The Last Town (Thomas & Mercer, 2014). I watched the show first and I went out and bought the trilogy once I was finished with season one. The last episode of season one was so dark and unsettling that I had to check out the pacing of the books to see how the pacing compared to the TV storyline. It was not a disappointment! In fact, I felt like I got to spend a little extra time with all the characters of Wayward Pines, and of course, Sheriff Ethan Burke, played by Matt Dillon.
John le Carré is a quiet kind of thriller writer. His novels are more about psychological cat-and-mouse games than car chases, more about espionage than action, but his slow-burn style of writing and understated characters give readers more than enough to sink their teeth into. His writing is drawn from his own experience in MI6 during the height of the Cold War, and many of his most well-known works, like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (Walker Books, 2005), drip with the authenticity only an intelligence insider would know. While many of his novels are recognizable as A-lister movies and miniseries, like AMC’s The Night Manager and the upcoming film Our Kind of Traitor, his novels are really so deliberate, intelligent and mysterious that you’ll want to revel in the words more than their adaptations.
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