Your Favourite Thrillers
I’m researching for my next novel, which will be a thriller, and it’s a very different discipline to writing mysteries…so here’s a question – what’s the most exciting thriller you’ve ever read? I’d place Ira Levin and Robert Harris in my top ten, along with the early Michael Crichtons. Few people remember that Levin wrote a sequel to Rosemary’s Baby – but it’s the weakest of his books, whereas ‘A Kiss Before Dying’ was brilliant.
What I most admire about Stieg Larsson’s trilogy is the way he opens the narrative to include an immense cast, and we can sense that all of them have their own lives, which only intersect at the crossing-point of Blomkvist and Salander. The writer’s curse is coincidence – one is often driven to coincide characters and situations for the sake of plot, but Larsson avoids this by a system of not-quite-overlapping events. It’s how real life works, of course, and makes the account more believable. When he tells you what a minor character had for breakfast it doesn’t feel like a digression. Instead, it’s a way of rounding out his worldview into a complex, tangled whole. The first film was pretty good, too.