“A great thriller, to me, is more about creating a sense of unease: a queasiness that comes with knowing something is not quite right.” These words by Gillian Flynn certainly sum up why we love our thrillers so much. It’s like sitting in a rollercoaster without having to leave your favorite chair. Who wouldn’t want that?
So here, we share a small sample of some great thriller writers, and if you aren’t reading them, may we advise a trip to the bookstore or library?
1. Lee Child
An all-out bestselling author, Lee Child has risen to fame from his series depicting tough, retired Army cop Jack Reacher. With strong action sequences, a hero that never quits, and situations that are not only complicated, but often end up being bizarre, Child has managed to corner the market of thriller writing. Loyal fans across the world swear by Reacher and his infallible sense of justice. In fact, many fans were up in arms with the selection of Tom Cruise to play Reacher in the screen adaptations of his books, as he bears little to no resemblance to the physical description of Reacher. But scandal and grumbling aside, the character has become much loved. Fun fact, Lee Child is not really his name, but rather just a pen name he uses. His actual name is James D. Grant.
2. James Patterson
With his first novel “The Thomas Berryman Number’ winning the prolific Edgar Award for Best First Novel, James Patterson was well on his way to stardom. His numerous books have since sold over 275 million copies worldwide. He is most well-known for his Alex Cross detective series, three of which have been turned into full length feature films, with Morgan Freeman in the first two. His latest release has been co-written by former US President Bill Clinton. Another interesting thing about him is that he holds the New York Times record for the most hardcover fiction bestselling books by any writer!
3. Dan Brown
Best know for his controversial novel The DaVinci Code, Dan Brown has certainly written many books, though his Robert Langdon series remain a favorite for all. Though The DaVinci Code was the second novel in the series, it was the first to be adapted into a feature film, and that certainly helped the series gain momentum (though many claim that the movie doesn’t come near doing justice to the book). He’s known for featuring themes relating to ancient Christianity, treasure hunts, cryptography, keys, symbols, codes, art, and conspiracy theories.
4. Tess Gerritsen
A surgeon and writer, Tess has written mostly novels in a single series, but the Detective Rizzolli series became so popular in and on its own, it even inspired a multi-season television show called Rizzoli and Isles. Tess herself studied anthropology before heading into surgery, though being a writer remained her childhood dream. Though medical thrillers are now her forte, she actually started as a romance thriller writer, and gained popularity in that genre, before finding her true niche with her first medical thriller Harvest. Her books have been published in forty countries, and more than 30 million copies have been sold all across the world.
5. David Baldacci
While the series written by David are too numerous to list, The Camel Club, and King and Maxwell series have huge fan following (King and Maxwell was also turned into a small television series). Though he himself trained to be a lawyer, his first novel Absolute Power was such a hit, that he turned to writing full time. And we are extremely thankful for the change in career, aren’t we? With strong characters, taunt plotlines, and interesting twists and turns, what’s not to like. On a side note, David and his wife Michelle run a non-profit organization called Wish You Well Foundation aimed at fighting illiteracy.
While we know it isn’t possible that any one list can possibly contain every single person’s favorite thriller writer, we do acknowledge that our lives have certainly been racier and more exciting thanks to their hard work! And we can’t forget the countless other who have worked to make this genre as ‘thrilling’ as it is. So here’s a special mention – Michael Connelly, Tom Clancy, Agatha Christie, Michael Chrichton. Thank you too!