by Ralph McAllister
Why do some of us have insatiable appetites for the thriller genre?
Here are a few authors who might offer some sort of answer to your question.
Iain Reid, a young Canadian writer of some distinction, in his latest psychological story Foe, introduces us to Henrietta and Junior, a young couple who live in a deserted part of the country in a rundown farmhouse.
Their happiness with each other is interrupted by a stranger who arrives to tell Junior that he has been chosen for a space mission. He has no choice.
From there things get weirder and weirder in a slow moving, but compulsively gripping plot, with a quite stunning ending.
Blackmail, kidnapping and violence
The Chain by Adrian McKinty has a brilliantly, blackmail riddled plot which has kidnapped victims threatened by kidnapped victims.
Fiendishly clever from the first gripping chapter, we witness ordinary people doing extraordinary things, in what promises to be one of the year’s best thrillers.
New Zealander Paul Cleave ventures into new territory with his latest Whatever It Takes. .
This is the first of his many splendid crime stories which is not set in New Zealand and it is none the worse for that.
Extremely violent, as is Cleave’s leaning, this American noir novel is thrillingly fast moving and places him high on the charts as one of our best writers, possibly for too long ignored in his own country, while hugely popular overseas.
Another impressive Mukergee thriller
Finally Death in the East by Abir Mukerjee is the fourth in the series featuring policeman Sam Wyndham who is based in Calcutta and others locations in 1920’s India.
Sam fought in the First World War and became an opium addict as a result of his injuries.
Together with his assistant “Surrender-Not” Bannerjee they face danger and prejudice as they investigate murders and injustices perpetrated by both the imperial English and Ghandi supporters.
In this one you get two stories for the price of one, skilfully and touchingly presented.
Probably better to start with Smoke and Ashes his first, but not essential.