Friday, June 25, 2021

Ten top thrillers that revolve around grief

Nicci French is the pseudonym of English wife-and-husband team Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. Their acclaimed novels of psychological suspense have sold more than 8 million copies around the world. At CrimeReads they write:
Writers (and readers) ... are drawn to leading characters who are active, who go out into the world and solve problems. Grief is the opposite of that, and grieving involves the acceptance that some problems cannot be fixed, they can only be lived with. That acceptance can be immensely important in getting through the dark periods of our life but it is a very bad basis for a thriller. So what do we do with grief when we write a thriller?
They tagged "ten books which make use of grief, or pointedly avoid it, or turn it into something else," including:
Cast of Shadows by Kevin Guilfoile (2005)

This remarkable thriller begins with the brutal rape and murder of Davis Moore’s teenager daughter. It’s going to be about grief, right? These are the book’s opening sentences: ‘This wasn’t grief Davis felt, staring at her so-still feet pointing at impossible angles to the tight synthetic weave of charcoal carpet. Grief is born. Grief matures. Grief passes.’ This is an entire thriller about the refusal of grief and the brilliantly original way that Moore, a doctor, sets out to find his daughter’s killer.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Page 69 Test: Cast of Shadows.

--Marshal Zeringue