Sunday, 5 August 2018

Chuckles Chat #76 Scenarios We Love And Hate About Mystery/Thriller

Welcome to Chuckles Chat where great blogging minds unite to discuss the topics of the day mainly in the book and blogging world. I'll be sharing my thoughts on a topic and then inviting you all to share your thoughts. It's ok to disagree but PLEASE be respectful of each other's views! All of the comments on my blog are moderated and offensive posts ie racist, bigoted will not be published! 

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Over the weeks I've been looking at our book buying life. By this what I mean is, what are the scenarios in a book blurb that make us really want to pick up that book and start reading? What do we love about the genre and what puts us off?

I used to read a lot of different genres and this was one that I tried a lot of books in over the years. The problem I found was that with my love of horror, I found myself waiting for action or gore, and getting a bit bored by waiting for something to happen. Some of the books were atmospheric and slow burning but I wanted more out of them, which started leading to disappointments and DNFs when they didn't live up to the promise of the blurb. For a while I didn't go near them, sticking to the monsters and gory side of horror instead. In fact, the creature feature side of horror was so fast paced and exciting that those slow burn thrillers became a distant memory.

However, recently I have started looking at the mystery and thriller reviews on your blogs and thought that some of them actually sound quite interesting and might be more to my taste. I've started downloading a few that I've seen on blogs and browsing a bit more through Amazon to see if any others appeal. I know I have been missing out on some good reads over the years but I might be making up for it. Yes I'm sure some will disappoint but that is true of the books we read in our favourite genres too. I now have a lot on my wishlist that I'm considering and will check out the Goodreads reviews before I decide on whether or not to read them.

I like the idea of reading about being stranded. This can be a storm or blizzard trapping people out in the wilds, floods in caverns they are exploring, getting lost in caves, up mountains in extreme conditions, trying to outrun a fire on a hike, that kind of thing. This gives that element of danger to what had been a regular trip, a sort of when a fun time goes bad, trying to escape a kidnapper or survive a killer or stalker. It is classic thriller territory. If it adds an element of the people in the group being killed by a serial killer or unfriendly locals or escaped psychopaths, yes I like that too, or wild animals stalking them through the woods. There can be a bit of a horror crossover with some of these scenarios and that does appeal to me. I like a book that ramps up the tension with every page without being slow and dull, leading to scary near misses or deaths.

I like reading about being stuck miles away for help in Arctic, Antarctic research stations with something or someone trying to kill everyone ie Icebound by Dean Koontz. The sheer isolation makes these books tense along with the prospect of having to save yourself. I like the idea of a plane or ship crashing, stranding them on an island with dangerous times ahead. Lost in the jungle with limited supplies. I also like reading about some kinds of revenge-the killer locked up coming back to get revenge on those who put him away, the person who leaves a violent partner only for them to come after everyone they care about, or trips that are planned in order for revenge to be taken. I like urban myths wrapped up in a tense thriller that keeps me reading, and disaster at sea or in the air.

I don't really like thrillers that focus too much on the relationship angst ie a rowing couple who snipe constantly during the trip or a love triangle within the group. I don't want sex scenes shoved in for the sake of it. I want to read about the actual events, not dumb arguments or tropes. I generally avoid the YA thrillers because romance seems to come into it nearly every time and I find that frustrating. I don't like the book being too slow to get into the story and have nothing happen for 100 pages, or for it to become all tell and no show. I'm not a fan of thrillers that focus on the police trying to solve them as they tend to go too much into police procedure and interviewing witnesses and turn into more of a crime novel. i prefer the crime victims being the focus with little or no police involved.

I've very much enjoyed things like Jeffery Deaver's Praying For Sleep, The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf, Unstolen by Wendy Jean, John J Nance's Blackout and Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. On my tbr is No Exit (Taylor Adams), Stillhouse Lake (Rachel Caine), A Thousand Yesteryears (Mae Clair), The River At Night (Erica Ferencik), Zodiac Station (Tom Harper), Sara's Game (Ernie Lindsey), Fierce Kingdom (Gin Phillips), To Kill The President (Sam Bourne), One Was Lost (Natalie D Richards), The Never List (Koethi Zan). I also have a pile of books by Matthew Reilly and more by John J Nance in my bookcases. I do have my eye on more but these are the ones I can remember. 

What kind of mystery thrillers do you enjoy? What kind do you not like or try to avoid? Have you read any of the books I've mentioned? What are you planning to read in the genre? Do you know of any others that might fit the kind of thrillers I like?

16 comments:

  1. I don't like thrillers that get too unrealistic - the ordinary guy suddenly finds themselves battling against a global conspiracy and wins - but do like the intense psychological type with lots of atmosphere. I just read Resin by Ane Riel which was incredible and I'll be reviewing it on Thursday. And you might enjoy The Good Son by You-jeong Jeong which starts with the gore! https://litflits.blogspot.com/2018/05/the-good-son-by-you-jeong-jeong.html

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    1. The blurb is a bit vague for Resin so I'm not too sure about it but I'm a bit put off by reviews that mention animal cruelty! I've seen reviews of the The Good Son and it intrigues me if it isn't too slow...

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  2. I hope you enjoy your thrillers! I haven’t had much luck with thrillers. They usually don’t have enough character development for me. I’ve read a thriller where I forgot the main character’s name halfway through because all he did was run around. I don’t like books that are mostly just plot.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I haven't had much luck with them either! I end up with too much YA angst or very slow!

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  3. I love spooky reads or thrillers set in the Arctic, or on Antarctica. Preferably with a creature element ha! or an SF tone. And ooh Zodiac Station- yeah I liked that one. Same for The River at Night. Another decent one was The winter Over by Matthew Iden. And the Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson, although that was more set in the Yukon.

    I like a good stranded story too.

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    1. The Winter Over sounds interesting. I'm not as sure about The Wolves of Winter as it sounds a bit romancey! I'm looking forward to Zodiac Station!

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    2. Zodiac Stations nice and creepy. Wolves of Winter actually wasn't romancey much at all, if I remember there's an attraction/ possible romantic interest but it's mostly trying to survive. It's a nice post apoc.

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  4. Have you tried any by Lincoln & Child. With the ones you've mentioned, I think you would enjoy their books too. Also James Rollins is a favorite.

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    1. If you mean Lincoln Child, I think Deep Storm sounds kind of interesting...I wouldn't want to start a long series by James Rollins due to lack of space right now but that Amazonia has been added to wishlist!

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  5. I think there is a term "Domestic Thrillers" and I probably don't have the best relationship with those. I liked crime/procedural thrillers or ones with paranormal/horror edges to them. I've heard such good things about Stillhouse Lake and its sequel so I'm excited to get to them as well.

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    1. There are so many of these terms for sub genres that I can't keep up! Must get to Stillhouse Lake at some point!

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  6. I like books where people are stranded, too, whether by a blizzard, or because of a plane crash, or lost in the wilderness. And I like reading books set in extreme environments, like Antarctica, or down in a cave, or in the Amazon jungle. :D

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    1. Yeah, I like all that kind of stuff! It adds to the plot when it has an exciting or exotic or extreme setting!

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  7. I hate in a thriller when we don't learn anything at all about what's actually happening for 100s of pages. Give me some clues periodically! That not making any progress feel drives me crazy. I also hate coincidences. Like when the whole thing is figured out because of something that someone randomly overheard. It seems kind of lazy. I haven't read much survival type thrillers but you've got me curious!

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    1. I wouldn't enjoy waiting that long for a clue about what is happening! I totally get your point about coincidence too. If it is too convenient or silly, that can ruin a decent book. And I hate stupid endings!

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