10 Bestsellers Riff on 10 of the All-Time Best Thrillers - Writer's Digest

10 Bestsellers Riff on 10 of the All-Time Best Thrillers

Lee Child, David Baldacci, Tess Gerritsen and more sound off on some of the bestselling thriller novels of all time.
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LEE CHILD on Theseus and the Minotaur (1500 B.C.)
"The best contemporary thrillers—whenever they are written—will in some way tap into ancient mythic structures."

DAVID BALDACCI on Patricia Highsmith's Strangers on a Train (1950)
"[It] could be a textbook on the art of constructing suspense noun by adjective, small interaction by informative interior monologue."

DOUGLAS PRESTON on Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White (1860)
"The Woman in White created a new genre of fiction, the ‘sensation novel.' … The sensation novel was the progenitor not only of the pithy chapter structure of the modern thriller, but also of the episodic nature of most television dramas, thus exerting a vast and subtle influence on modern storytelling."

LINCOLN CHILD on Kenneth Fearing's The Big Clock (1946)
"It's a remarkably poisonous little puff adder of a thriller—eccentric and louche—with language sharp and bright as a rhinestoned buzz saw."

JAMES ROLLINS on Jack Finney's Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1954)
"Finney drew on … real-world tensions to add resonance and topicality to this multilayered novel, to stoke the fear and uneasiness lurking in the hearts of his readers."

SANDRA BROWN on Evelyn Anthony's The Rendezvous (1967)
"A trait found in all of Evelyn Anthony's books, the distinction that elevates them above others of the genre: The lines between good and evil are blurred. She creates delicious ambiguities."

JOHN LESCROART on Brian Garfield's Death Wish (1972) "He created an archetypical hero who continues to be a mainstay of popular fiction and film—the average man driven by circumstances outside of his control to become an avenging vigilante."

TESS GERRITSEN on Ken Follett's Eye of the Needle (1978)
"Follett has established a reputation as a fearless storyteller capable of surprising even his longtime readers."

DAVID MORRELL on Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None (1939)
"A brilliant example of how a mystery can also be a thriller."

STEVE BERRY on Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code (2003)
"The real contribution of Dan Brown and his marvelously inventive story is the effect that both he and his publisher had on the international suspense thriller. Together, they breathed life back into something that was all
but dead."


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