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  • Chris Malburg

Trends in Thrillers


I write thrillers--four so far. While I'm beginning my next project I'm also looking at trends as well as what interests me and what I want to get involved with. Because of the long lead time in getting any novel to market it just isn't practical trying to catch up with a trend--it's like trying to catch a falling knife. If you do, you'll probably experience an unwanted consequence.

Nevertheless, from the research I've done and studies I've read from the International Thriller Writers Association by Dawn Ius (I've been a member of ITW since my first thriller, Deadly Acceleration was published). From this, among other research, I believe that the psychological thriller where darkness lurks inside those you trust most still has some legs. Gyllian Flynn's Gone Girl resurrected the genre and it's still a strong seller.

Unreliable narrators in thrillers are still fun for readers. When done right, they add depth to a plot along with mystery and engagement by our readers.

Another trend I see coming is the element of international conspiracy. As the US sorts its way through relationships with North Korea, China, and Russia there's fertile ground for an entire sub-genre of thriller. My latest, Man of Honor, was just lucky to fit right into this thriller sub-genre.

Though still classic, Dawn Ius relates, the legal thriller will move to the end of the list of must readers.

Serial characters appearing in a book series will continue their appeal. I'm pleased to see this since my own Jackson Schilling in my Enforcement Division series is still popular.

--Chris Malburg

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