Thriller books: How to choose the best titles in 2021
Today we are going to talk about suspense books, a literary genre characterized by the appeal to the curiosity of the reader, who wants to unravel the mysteries of the plot.
Suspense is divided into subgenres: police, supernatural, legal, medical, psychological, political, conspiracy, among others. For sure, one of these themes will please you.
If you like thriller books, enjoy this article with all the information you need to know about the genre, plus some title suggestions you might like. Good reading!
First, the most important
- The suspense genre can address fictional narratives, based on facts or real stories. The theme varies according to the subgenre of the work. There is suspense for all tastes.
- In recent years, many suspense books have been adapted to film and television. Usually, when this happens, the book gets a new edition, with a different preface and cover.
- Unlike other literary genres, it is more difficult to find suspense series, usually the narrative has a beginning, middle and end in a single volume, except when accompanying the adventures of a character.
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Ranking: The 4 best suspense books
If you update your bookshelf with suspense books, but don’t know which titles to choose, check out our selection of the best suspense books of 2021. Among the options, you will certainly find your next reading.
One of the most prestigious literary genres, suspense causes a sense of tension from the first to the last page. If you like to read these stories, take the opportunity to learn more about the topic in this Buying Guide.
What is the origin of the suspense genre?
The suspense has its origin related to the journalistic texts of 19th century English publications, which addressed unsolved crimes. This structure was improved by the Americans, who included the figures of “characters”.
But it was with the writer Edgar Allan Poe that the suspense narratives gained literary contours. In his stories, the author had the detective as the protagonist, who led the reader through a labyrinth of mysteries.
What are the characteristics of suspense books?
Suspense or thriller is a genre whose main elements are mystery, tension and excitement. In this genre, it is common for the author to hide important information from the reader in order to instigate him to continue reading.
The unexpected is the main guiding element of suspense, which is why the plot is structured around sudden cuts that provoke surprise. The totality of the facts is only revealed at the end of the narrative.
When it comes to a suspense piece, the concept of a good book is very clear: the reader needs to gather the clues to try to unravel the end of the story and get tense from beginning to end.
- Available in print and digital versions
- It’s a collectible
- The printed version can be soft or hardcover
- Books adapted for cinema or television win special editions
- The softcover book is more fragile
- Physical book takes up space at home
- To read e-books, you will need to invest in an e-reader
What are the subgenres of suspense books?
In literature, suspense is divided into thematic axes called subgenres. To help you choose the topic you most identify with, we’ll introduce the main ones throughout this section.
The police suspense addresses a crime (or a sequence of them), which can be counted from the point of view of the victim, the detective or the criminal. In some cases, the book has more than one point of view.
The legal suspense is very similar to the police, but the plot takes place in a court and is often carried out by lawyers.
In psychological suspense , the protagonist has some mental disorder, which may be memory loss, multiple identities, madness or difficulty in distinguishing what is real or imaginary.
Flashbacks are resources used to present events that influenced the characters’ behaviors and that led the narrative to that point. It is usually narrated in the first person.
If you like horror stories, you will love the supernatural suspense in which the characters’ narrative mixes with that of supernatural beings like spirits and demons.
The thriller doctor ‘s main plot a mysterious disease, epidemic, medical errors or even illegal experiments.
In the conspiracy thriller the protagonist puts his life at risk by discovering a major conspiracy. Generally, these narratives use historical facts to increase the complexity of the plot.
The political thriller addresses behind the scenes of power struggle. These narratives involve national and international political scenarios and have corruption, terrorism and war as their main themes.
Although the subgenres listed above are the main ones, the suspense is divided into many other themes such as espionage, religious issues, natural disasters, romance, among others.
Who are the best authors of suspense books?
Who likes supernatural suspense, should give a chance to the works of the renowned Stephen King. Among the main ones we can highlight It- The thing, The Shining, Under the dome and The cursed cemetery. All of these books have been adapted to film / television.
If you like police suspense, you’ll love Edgar Allan Poe’s tales. Agatha Christie’s novels will also surprise you with their many twists and turns. Our suggestion is Murder on the Orient Express.
Anyone who likes conspiracy thriller will identify with the Dan Brown saga: The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons and Hell, both adapted for the cinema and starring Tom Hanks.
In recent years, new authors have come to the public’s attention with their family suspensions, full of intrigues and twists, they are: Harlan Coben, Gillian Flinn, Jo Nesbo and CJ Tudor, both with books adapted for the cinema.
See a brief review of the book O Homem de Giz, by CJ Tudor, in the video below:
Some factors influence the price of a book, such as number of pages, cover quality, edition, among other factors. On average, a new copy costs around R $ 30.
Where to buy?
You can buy thriller books at bookstores. If you prefer, you can buy the bonds over the internet and receive them by mail. Our suggestions are: Amazon.
Purchasing criteria: Factors for comparing thriller books
Now that you know a little more about the history of suspense and its subgenres, let’s detail which characteristics you should analyze at the time of purchase:
- Printed or digital book
- New or used book
We will explain each of the items throughout this section.
Printed or digital book
When buying a suspense book, you can choose whether you would prefer to read it in physical (printed) or digital (e-book) versions. To help you choose the ideal version, we have prepared a comparative table:
If you choose the printed version, you can choose whether you prefer the book in soft or hard cover. The softcover book has the most affordable price differential. However, it is important to be careful, as it is more fragile.
The hardcover book is an excellent option because of its resistance. The hard cover is more resistant to moisture, does not wrinkle or tear. However, hardcover books tend to be more expensive.
In recent years, many suspense books have been adapted for film and television. When a book is adapted, it gets a new edition, in which the cover shows the faces of the protagonists of the adaptation.
The classics are also usually remodeled in commemorative editions, with new illustrations, new preface, extra content or in a box that gathers that author’s collection.
New or used book
You can choose to buy a new or used book. Although some people are afraid, you can find used books in excellent condition and at a much more affordable price.
But it is undeniable that buying a new book has its advantages: you will not find any defect in the copy and the smell of the newly printed pages is a delight.
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