Richard Davis's Five Favourite Crime/Thriller Novels
1.) Stephen King’s The Running Man. Although this is a dystopian novel, it is also the epitome of thriller fiction. An insanely exciting cat-and- mouse tale.
2.) G. K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday. An incredibly bizarre and funny thriller that is both an entertaining story, but also a metaphysical tract. It’s the novel that got me into thriller fiction in the first place.
3.) Patricia Highsmith’s The Glass Cell. Highsmith is interested in the psychology of the people behind crime, and The Glass Cell is probably my favourite of her standalone novels. An intense, disturbing, slow burn of a tale that looks at the horrors of prison, and the circumstances that drive individuals to commit unspeakable acts.
4.) Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy. I’m cheating here, since this is really three short novellas. Although the tone of these stories falls very much into a Chandleresque hard-boiled tradition, Auster – by intentionally undermining the expectations of the detective genre, and thwarting attempts to draw neat conclusions – turns these stories into provocative philosophical meditations. The New York Trilogy, through its subversions, gets you thinking about how the plots to crime and detective novels work.
5.) Lee Child’s Killing Floor. Child’s first book is a cracking read. It builds slowly, shocks frequently, and is always exciting.
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