Slap some cuffs on me, put me in an interrogation room, and then lock me up because I have a confession to make: I love thrillers.
Give me your psychopaths! Give me your sociopaths! Give me your serial killers! The line between right and wrong is fascinating, and there is a certain thrill in watching this line be crossed. Not just crossed, but poked and prodded, manipulated and twisted, then stabbed and strangled. I grew up watching Homicide: Life on the Street and Law & Order. I devoured mystery books. I developed an addiction to true crime shows. The reason for this is simple, and it is also why I love thrillers so much: they put fear into you.
Thrillers rip apart your carefully ordered world, and they place murder, blood, and mayhem in its place. They make you jump at every single noise in the house when it’s late at night and you’re all alone. Thrillers take ordinary people and turn them into the most unimaginable monster possible. Nothing is given. Thrillers make you think, they make you wonder, they make your heart beat faster. Thrillers feature strong, capable characters who triumph over evil every time. Sometimes our strong, capable characters hold some darkness themselves, and the line between good and evil blurs. That is even better.
The world exists in shades of gray, and the best thrillers pounce on that and own it. Books with murder and blood and guts are scary, but when they become real and you can imagine them happening in your neighborhood, in your town, they turn scarier. Thrillers are my own brand of horror.
And if you want an author who knows how to write a thriller, choose Karin Slaughter. The crimes are brutal and horrific. The characters are flawed and broken, but oh so realistic. Karin Slaughter’s books probe the inhumane part of humanity with mysteries that keep you turning the pages and rushing off the buy the next book. (I did this. Trust me when I say it was absolutely necessary.) And better yet? Slaughter is her real last name. If that doesn’t say “best thriller writer ever,” I’m not sure what does.