Top 5 Must Read thrillers.
Since I am an inspiring crime/thriller writer this is the genre I read the most. Don’t get me wrong, I read other genres but nothing beats a good suspenseful story where it keeps you guessing what’s going to happen next, who is the killer? Thrillers are page tuners. So here are my top 5 must read thrillers that I recommend to read if you are getting started in this genre or looking for your next read, either for on the beach or to relax with a glass of wine.
Killing me Softly by Nicci French
This is one of my favourite books. I read this when I was 16 (long time ago) and a little too young to read a story with such themes of sex and violence. I keep going to it again and again, it inspired me to write thrillers in the first place. I describe this book with the three S’s; scary, suspenseful, and sexy. This heart-pounding thriller starts with one of the greatest opening lines I ever encountered
“He knew he was going to die”
Isn’t that a hook or what? It makes you wonder who’s going to die? Tell me! That’s the prologue, than the story jumps to Alice. She has seems to have everything; a comfortable, safe life, the loving, caring boyfriend, close friends, and a job as a research scientist. One morning, she locks eyes with a man so beautiful, he takes her breath away (it has romance in it.) She goes to work and forgets about him, until she goes out for her lunch break, and finds him standing on the pavement, waiting for her. Creepy right? She goes and has sex with him without knowing his name 0.o you might say hold on a second, how I’m going to relate this? You don’t have to. Driven by wild passion for Adam a mountaineer who was involved in a climbing disaster, she leaves everything behind and marries him without knowing anything about him. Stupid move but anyway.
That’s when things start to get spooky. Mysterious notes, phone calls, women knocking on her door claiming that she taken Adam away from them, so Alice goes to dig into his past and discovers disturbing secrets. The climbing disaster might have not been accidental at all. If you love steamy sex mixed with suspense this book is for you.
P.s The movie version of this book is horrendous does no justice to the book. Terrible.
The Collector by John Fowles
This book was a debut novel by John Fowles. One of his famous novels is “The French Lieutenant’s Woman.” This is considered a classic among classics. I know some people roll their eyes when they hear those words but hear me out for a second. This book is mind blowing, chilling and creepy as AF.
We have Fredrick an uneducated, unloved, and a collector of butterflies. A beautiful, intelligent art student Miranda infuriates him. When he wins a large sum of money in the football pools, he quits his job, buys a remote house, and kidnaps her with a false hope that she will fall madly in love with him. The story is told through the captor’s point view and the victim’s point of view, that’s what makes it so brilliant.
I recently watched a TV investigation show (research purposes) about two young men who kidnapped women, locked them in the cellar, raped and tortured and finally killed them. Cutting a long story short, when the police went to search the premises, in the cellar they found a copy of this book. As the investigation carried on the police found dozen bodies buried by the area of the house. One killer found the other was never caught. Scary Stuff.
Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
A must read thriller, the second of the series. “Red Dragon” was the first, this book tells a story of a Buffalo Bill a scary fucko who kidnaps and kills curvy women for their skin. In silence of the Lambs we find Clarice, a trainee detective who is assigned to interview the brilliant but dangerous and now one of the most iconic villains Hannibal Lector, in an asylum. He is the one that can help in the case.
What makes this character so dangerous was that he was a forensic psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer. Which makes everything much worse. Is it just me that found him charming? Read the book, no need to read the first one you’ll be fine.
Ps. The movie is also fantastic.
Misery by Stephen King.
More into the horror side of things but it’s also a thriller. Misery is about a famous historical romance author Paul. He is involved in car crash and saved by Annie Wilkes, his biggest fan. She is not just your average avid reader. She is his nurse, tending his shattered body, and his captor keeping him prisoner in her isolated home.
When she finds out that, he killed off her favourite character Misery Chastain (he wanted to be known for books that are more serious.) Annie goes into angry fit. She burns the only copy he had of his unpublished manuscript and then forces him to bring Misery back to life by writing another novel she wants. This woman is just terrifying, definitely one of Stephen King’s best novels in my opinion.
And There Were None By Agatha Christie
Last and not least is the queen of mystery who got her ideas for her books whilst washing the dishes. This is one of her most famous books, having sold 100 million copies, and is considered her masterpiece and it is. The story is so original a must read thriller.
We have 10 strangers summoned to a beautiful house in a private island in Devon by an erratic millionaire that never shows up. In their rooms, they all have a poem “Ten Little Indians” on the dinner table there are ten figurines. Those same ten people are accused of committing crimes in the past. One by one, they start to die according to the way the soldiers/Indians die in the poem. Every time someone dies; a figurine is removed from the dinner table until there were none.
I love the simplicity in her writing no big fancy words, no 500-page novel with lots of back-story to cause confusion. It’s simple and to the point.
Happy reading and writing xx
Top 5 most overrated books we keep hearing about
I’m settling for Top 5 most overrated books we keep hearing about. There are more than just five overrated literary works and these are the ones that came to my head. So, here we go:
Twilight series by Stephanie Mayer.
To be honest I haven’t read them and I’m not planning to at the moment. Maybe, when I run out of the books to read, which is unlikely to happen since my list is long varying from my personal collection, to authors who asked me to review their books. I have heard different opinions; some say they are badly written and don’t deserve the hype. Stephen King used strong words for her writing style and overall theme. If you haven’t seen it here is the link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zb72V_4N5ko
I don’t think I’ll ever be prepared to read about a sparkly vampire, when there is Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Ann Rice’s works to consider.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
I was doing a self-editing course when the editor suggested we read this book to appreciate great writing and prose. I always wanted to read this classic, named one of the greatest American Novels of all time. Finally, I was going to sit down and read it, I couldn’t wait I was so excited. It was a short one so I thought hey, I’ll finish it in three days, perhaps even less. Wrong, it took me nearly a month to finish and it was forced, it made me fall asleep. I read a page, and I dropped dead. The Great Bore more like it. Yes, the writing was beautiful but the character of Daisy was so blunt and stupid. This was the first sign that said I’m not a sucker for romantic tragic tales.
The Hunger Game series by Suzanne Collins.
This series is considered classics by now, if you mention the word dystopian Sci-Fi this trilogy is going to slap you in the face. Again, the opinions defer when it comes to this trilogy, some say they are bad some say they are good. I’ve read them and I enjoyed them, the writing is good too. The books are better than the movies but that is always the case. The ending made me weep like a baby, it was a perfect way to conclude the series but it was so sad.
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgees.
Another dystopian classic alongside the masterpieces such as “1984” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.” We have Alex a fifteen-year-old leader of a gang who terrorise the utopian society of England in the future. I needed a dictionary just to keep up with all the slangs; Alex deserved everything he got. Yeah, he’s an antihero but I couldn’t identify with his journey and like the Great Gatsby, I don’t get the big deal behind this book. Some bits did made me laugh though.
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Most overrated, hyped books of all time. I had to sit there and take it while this was happening. The author is equally overrated. I don’t get it, I never will, here I am trying to learn the craft of writing, reading the best works that made it to publication, and then ladies and gentlemen we have this monstrosity. As I said in the previous post, you can read it here
People who love this book look at me as if I dropped from another planet when they try to shove it down my throat. Maybe I’m insane or I’ve read too many books to know the difference between a good book, and a terrible one. No man, no matter how good looking, how rich he is, should ever be excused for that sort of behaviour.
Got an overrated book in mind? Tell me in the comments.
Happy Writing xxx
Book Review: Target in the Sun Lynda Filler
As I enjoyed reading both “Jet Exposed” and “Vanished by the Sun.” You can check out the reviews over Here
and over here Jet-exposed-lynda-filler
Target in the Sun is a wonderful romance thriller story some scene were heart wrenching and beautiful the story follows Carlos to his childhood and his relationship with older woman, Mia. Both characters in Target in the Sun were compelling. Delightful tension follows the pace then there is Lucia,a FBI agent who puts her life on the line to help the lovers escape the dark past Carlos carries with him.
Highly recommend! Thanks for the author for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.
A Trinity of Wicked Tales by Kyla Ross
Read this in one sitting deranged characters, interesting sexy, dark, and disturbing short tales. I enjoyed these stories because it’s right up my alley. Loved the suspense the author gave and she has a deep understanding of love, lust that connected themselves with violence. Loved the second story best. Can’t wait for volume two.
I would like to thank the author and reader’s house for a free copy in exchange of honest review.
Stages of Editorial Revisions
Last time, I blogged about the first draft link http://: http://joannewritesbooks.com/blog/the-first-draft-meant-to-suck/over here and how you shouldn’t try to edit it before you finish and let it sit there for a while. Next, comes the revision that will become the second draft. Look for plot holes, Is everything solved? Are the characters well developed? Are descriptions vivid enough? Are their desires and wants understood?
Example in my thriller novel my main character Sophie Knight, seems she has everything, she’s beautiful, with a successful career, lives in a prestigious apartment in Notting Hill that she share with her husband Richard Knight. However, nothing is what it seems behind her polished exterior and killer wardrobe, she has developed a drinking problem. The book is told in her account written in her diary, her mission is to be good but as writer you have to make your character goal as hard as possible.
Give them a motivation the most famous is the Hunger Games Katniss’s sister name is called for the games, Katniss volunteers to take her place so now she has to survive the games.
You can give it to to a family member or a friend that you trust enough to point out those issues for you. After that, you edit it again according to their comments which will become the third draft. Try to correct the grammar and the spelling as much as you can. I use a reading aloud app that literally had saved my butt. Next comes beta readers. There are also critique partners I don’t have a critique partner wish I do but to find one but it’s difficult as finding a literary agent. I tried and no luck as in yet. Critique partners are another fellow writers, who writes in your genre you exchange chapters back and forth and put out anything that seems problematic. They put out the good too.
Beta readers are the general audience, people who love to read they tell you their overall review and thoughts of the manuscript and point out any issues. Don’t make any changes if one beta reader suggest a change if they all agree on that issue than you make the change. I like to prepare them a set of questions for them to cover everything I will post an example later on. A comment “it’s good” will not help your improvement as writer, so best to have a sheet with everything you like to cover.
Underneath I found this sheets in writer’s group that shows how the editing process works. Don’t forget to join writers groups on Facebook I think there are Twitter as well. Personally, I use Facebook, if you have doubts or questions, you can always ask over there and you always find someone who will help you out. I found a lot of help in there. Join my writers group on Facebook just copy and paste the link 🙂
The first draft meant to suck.
The first draft meant to suck: it’s called the first draft for many reasons and it’s meant to suck. The first draft is jointing down your ideas on paper. Whatever you do, don’t look at what you wrote. I repeat; don’t look at what you wrote. Why? Because that’s comes later on the revising of the draft, yes prepare to be mortified, the first draft meant to suck Correct none grammatical errors or spelling that also goes in revising phrase.
Some writers like to edit the first draft hoping it will be beautifully written. In that turtle mood, you’ll never finish the thing. Your focus is to slap “The End” at the bottom of the page and don’t go crazy on editing. Don’t show it to anybody not to your loved ones, not even to your dog or cat, not until you adjusted it yourself and for God Sake don’t send it over to an editor. Just don’t. Don’t think about publishing either that is something beyond your control worry about it later.
I just recently finished drafting a Sci-Fi/Dystopian novel. My main genre is Thriller/Mystery, but I had this idea so, I decided to write it without stopping and its done standing on 82K without editing one word. I need remove the first chapter and add it in the later chapters, re-write chapter 2, which is going to be chapter 1. I might have to re-write the whole thing but hey this writing no-one said it’s going to be easy. Stop complaining. Re-writes are what makes good writing, so re-write and rewrite and yes, do cry. It’s okay. You can do it. You are going to be fine. The re-writes are toughest in the whole progress. Actually, writing the first draft is the fun part.
Bottom line, butt in chair, and write. Don’t worry about verbs and repeated words it will be fixed later.
The Quickie James Patterson
Read three of his books and are enough to distinguish what his others are about, same characters, same plot and writing style, short and sweet chapters. This guy doesn’t even write his own books! It gets tedious after a while. You can check my review for the honey over here http://: http://joannewritesbooks.com/blog/the-honey-moon-book-review/
So, The Quickie begins with a detective Lauren, she sees her husband, Paul leaving a hotel with another woman and jumps to all the wrong conclusions as one might do. What she does? She goes off and have a “quickie” as the title suggests with Scott, another detective only, she looks out the her window to see her husband loading her lover’s limp body into the trunk of a car. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Quickie-James-Patterson/dp/0755349555/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499621536&sr=1-1&keywords=james+patterson+the+quickie
Vanished in the Sun Lynda Filler
The author sent me a free copy of Vanished in the Sun in exchange for an honest review I would like to thank her for reaching out to me I’ve read Jet exposed and loved it. I wasn’t aware Vanished in the Sun is series of books. The story was compelling engaging and entertaining. I like books with short chapters they diverse themselves from other books James Patterson has the same style. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vanished-Sun-Carlos-Mia-Book/dp/1542731887/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1499620895&sr=8-4&keywords=Lynda%2BFiller
You can read the review of Target in the sun the prequel to this over here http://joannewritesbooks.com/blog/book-review-targ…sun-lynda-filler/
And Jet Exposed over here http://joannewritesbooks.com/blog/jet-exposed-lynda-filler/