Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for Psychological Thriller

Last year was my first crack at the A-Z Blogging Challenge, a blogging phenomenon created by the amazing Arlee Bird. The object is to blog every day of the month of April (except Sundays), and to increase the challenge (if you want), to blog thematically from A to Z. No sweat, right? Last year, I blogged about music with Jessica Bell. This year, I'm heading back to my roots and blogging about all things thriller. Join me?
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The thriller genre is broken up into several sub genres -  from action-adventure to erotic, I love them all. But my favorite, by far,  is the Psychological Thriller.

Described as a story in which a character's emotional stability is questioned, one of the most famous books in this sub-genre is of course, Silence of the Lambs by the brilliant Thomas Harris. One of my mentors, Gary Braver, says it is a perfectly crafted thriller - and I agree. The Hannibal character alone has become one of the most well-known villains of the literary world. Not to mention, the book has become a loose template for many new psychological thrillers. 

Such is the case for Heartsick by Chelsea Cain, whose serial killer Gretchen has been compared to the iconic Hannibal Lecter. I admit, I'm somewhat obsessed with Gretchen, even to the point where I understand why the protagonist is enamored with her. 

Cain's books may not receive the same technical praise as pretty much anything Harris touched, but Heartsick, and subsequently, the other novels in the series, demonstrate a clear understanding of the genre and a mind blowing talent. Gretchen's character is chillingly, and Cain's skill absolutely shines when it comes to drawing out reader emotion. I am invested in each of these characters - maybe too much so.

Not surprisingly, Cain's series has been optioned by FX for development of a TV show. Unless this show is somehow botched at the casting phase or veers too far from the books, I can't imagine it not being one of the most engaging shows on the small screen. I can hardly wait.

What's your favourite thriller sub genre? And, have you read Heartsick?

- Dawn


  1. I haven't read HeartSick but I think I will have to! I do love the Silence of the Lambs series.. Hannibal gives me chills, which is why Thriller novels are so fun!

    AJ Lauer
    #atozchallenge helper minion
    Twitter: @ayjaylauer

  2. Stopping by from A-Z. Great to meet you. I love thrillers, too.

  3. I don't read many thrillers, but I like to branch out with my reading. I might consider this for the psych thriller angle. I enjoyed Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, although I found the manipulation rather disturbing. Meaning, the author did a great job at what she intended.