There’s nothing I love more in a book than a mystery to solve, a ticking clock, and a life in peril. I remember picking up my first Dan Brown book, Digital Fortress. I devoured it in one sitting. Prior to reading Brown’s books, I’d been a fantasy and romance reader. It was exciting to add the suspense/thriller genre to my must-read list.
What is suspense? To qualify, the story needs a protagonist attempting to overcome an obstacle. And those obstacles should get bigger and badder as the tale progresses. The elements of surprise and danger are key.
Current television proves the popularity of suspense. Viewers love shows like CSI, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy and Dexter. Stakes are always high, and we are always surprised. We find something about the protagonist(s) that keeps us watching and predicting. Even if the integrity of the protagonist is questionable, we stay engaged—like not being able to look away from a train wreck.
I look forward to reading more New Adult suspense novels. I love characters in this stage of life because they give us fresh perspectives. A twenty-one-year-old female officer solving a crime may be more of a risk-taker and less experienced. Her challenges will be different than the forty-five-year-old cop who has served on the force for twenty years. She may use cutting edge technology and be less conservative.
In the past, commercial fiction writers may have shied away from a twenty-year-old protagonist in a novel. We were told it was a no-man’s land for character age. Current authors have an opportunity like never before. But it’s not a case of write it, and they will come. Readers drive this market.
Have you read a New Adult suspense novel this year?