I’m currently rereading this thriller: The Guilty One by Lisa Ballantyne. I originally read it a few years ago in college and, since I’ve been going through all my books to find which ones are worth keeping, I’m rereading it. I won’t get into the plot or whether or not I like/dislike this book. Instead, I want to talk about how thrillers hold certain themes and tropes that I am not fond out. I definitely think I will get into this topic more when I write my next big blog this Saturday about different sub-genres of mystery.
However, for now I wanted to ruminate on two specific details in thrillers I dislike. I really, really dislike how so many thriller writers seem determined to make the protagonists almost as messed up as the antagonists. The term anti-hero is nowhere more applicable, I think, in literature than in these novels. Usually the protagonist smokes, drinks, is pretty much a jerk, has a messed up sense of reality, and acts impetuous at the best of times. Thrillers are meant to illicit certain emotions from the reader.
They want you to feel scared, excited, disgusted. This is my second problem with thrillers. They are not based on using logical reasoning. While I think emotions are amazing things, I also think there must be a balance between our emotions and our logic. For me, reading mysteries is about following a person I can really root for on a quest to find a villain/murderer. In thrillers, I just don’t find this.
But that is my opinion. What do you guys think? Are you fans of thrillers? If so, why? What are some of your favorites?