Tag: psychological thriller

psychological thriller

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Psychological Thrillers, Irish Style

Little Cruelties and The Liar's Daughter

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! March 17th is yet another excuse to steep myself in my rich Irish heritage. When I was little, all that meant to me was blue eyes and curly hair. Since early adulthood, I’ve read everything Celtic I could get my hands on, historical, sociological, mythological; and eventually I discovered Irish crime fiction – a vibrant genre in its own right. Today, in celebration of Irishness, I want to introduce you to two of my favorite Irish crime fiction writers: Liz Nugent and Claire Allan. In 2020, these authors each published two of the most profoundly impactful psychological thrillers I’ve ever read. About Liz Nugent Liz Nugent was born in Dublin in 1967. Her career began in broadcasting. Later she toured with Riverdance working backstage. She barreled onto the crime fiction scene in 2014 with her debut, Unraveling Oliver, easily one of the creepiest psychological thrillers I’ve ever read. Not only was it an Oprah Magazine pick and a bestseller, it was also listed by the Sunday Times as one of the 50 great Irish novels of the 21st century. She didn’t quit there. Since then, she’s published four more standalones, Lying in Wait, Skin Deep, and […]

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The Intimate Moment

Some of the best fiction explores moments of intimacy and shows us relationships between people that are chilling as a result of that intimacy.

In no particular order, here are my favorite thrillers featuring two people locked in a struggle where love, hate, possession and obsession blur.

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The Omnipresent Villain

Yesterday, I read a book (which will remain nameless) that made me want to bury it in the sand. The characterization was deep, the writing was vivid, and the villain was such a minor player that by the time he was revealed I felt betrayed.  In psychological and domestic thrillers/mysteries (the genres in which I write), the villain should be hiding in plain sight. Don’t tell me the butler that showed up every now and again to deliver a cup of tea is the kidnapper–especially not after making me suspect the victim’s mom. It will feel like the bad guy came out of nowhere and that the writer manipulated the reader’s emotions rather than actually created a puzzle able to be solved. 
In my opinion, the best mystery writers make the villain a POV character or close to it. He or she should be someone in many of the scenes, ideally someone even trying to help with the investigation. We should have a sense that we know who he or she is and what his or her motivations are. It should feel like we had a shot at figuring out that the person was, at least, hiding something.   
  

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