I read a variety of book genres, mainly science fiction, fantasy, and horror, but one that I’ve been starting to get more into is the thriller genre.
I’m currently writing what I’d call a horror thriller, or a paranormal thriller, and it can only help to read more in that category. So over the past few months here are some thrillers I’ve read or listened to and I’ve really enjoyed doing so.
First up, The Bone Orchard by Paul Doiron. I listened to this one as an audio book, not realizing it was book 5 of a 6 book series. Lucky for me, they are each stand-alone novels. In it we have an ex- Maine Warden who recently left the service, and is working as a fishing guide. The setting is wonderful, and you can tell the author must be from the area, or has spent a lot of time there. At times it feels like you’re there getting mosquito bites on a lake with him. He’s drawn back to his old life when someone from his past is killed, leading to a great mystery story, where the MC (main character) is forced to return to his old habits. I really liked this book. The characters were believable and the prose smooth. I expect to return to this world again at some point.
Then I read The River is Dark by Joe Hart. I’ve seen a lot of Joe on Amazon, and when I saw a push for the first two Liam Dempsey books on special, I grabbed them. This book has a whack of reviews no Amazon so there was really nothing to lose trying something new. Here we have another ex-cop type story, where he heads to a small town when his estranged brother and sister-in-law are found dead. Murders are piling up by what witnesses are calling a monster, and he is thrust into solving the puzzle before he ends up in jail for the crimes, or ends up another body by the real killer. This book was a great read. Fast-paced, with a great troubled MC who fit the archetype just right, I’d highly recommend trying Joe Hart. I see he has a lot of books out there, so be prepared to have a large To-be-read pile.
Next up I listed to the audio of the hugely successful Stillhouse Lake by Rachael Caine. It has over 6000 ratings on amazon in a couple months, so we can tell this is a hit. I had no idea what to expect when I started, but quickly found myself engrossed into their lives. We have a mother doing what she can to protect her children from the crazies out there who think she was part of her murderous husbands killings multiple women in their house’s garage over years. The setting once again, is great. A house on a lake, in a small community. The inner protective mama bear got a little tiresome at points for me, and a couple things were stretching on unbelievable, but I was impressed overall, and though I thought the ending may have been a little too much, setting up for a sequel, I will most likely read it when it comes out.
Then I returned to Joe Hart with the follow-up book, The Night Is Deep. In it we have Liam Dempsey once again playing cop when his old friend wakes up from being knocked out, to find his wife missing. Liam has to get the local cops on his side as he outsmarts them all (of course) and picks up on the clues as more bodies pile up in the small community. We have a fun book, not overly complicated, but a solid plot, and pacing. I expect he will keep making these books, and I expect I’ll keep reading them!
So while I mainly read science fiction these days, I’m really loving getting into some thrillers, and it inspires my own writing at the same time. I’m almost at 30,000 words into Red Creek, my hometown horror, and that’s in less than a month! I’m hoping to be done the first draft by the end of October with any luck. Thanks for reading, and I hope I’ve inspired someone to try a thriller sooner than later!