EDITED BY DAVID MORRELL AND HANK WAGNER
Thrillers: 100 Must Reads examines 100 seminal works of suspense through essays contributed by such esteemed modern thriller writers as David Baldacci, Steve Berry, Sandra Brown, Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, Heather Graham, John Lescroart, Gayle Lynds, Katherine Neville, Michael Palmer, Douglas Preston, James Rollins, R.L. Stine, and many more. The classics they selected range from Beowulf to The Bourne Identity, Dracula to Deliverance, Heart of Darkness to The Hunt for Red October. More than an anthology, this book goes deep inside the most notable thrillers published over the centuries. Through lively, spirited, and thoughtful essays, Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads provides both historical and personal perspective on those spellbinding works that have kept readers on the edge of their seats for centuries.
“This fascinating book is essential for anyone who loves thrillers—fans and authors alike. I learned something new on every page. Not only were my favorite thrillers included, but I also discovered ‘lost’ treasures that I can’t wait to get my hands on.”
“Some of my favorite thriller authors writing about their favorite thrillers. This fun-and-fact-filled epic view of the genre is itself a must-read.”
“The ultimate thriller resource. A fantastic reading list with a ‘who’s who’ of contributors. This wealth of information about classic thrillers is destined to be a classic of its own.”
In 2004, Gayle Lynds and I co-founded International Thriller Writers (with help from a lot of generous people). One of our goals was to provide a historical perspective on the thriller tradition and to compile a list of recommended examples. As a former literature professor, I agreed to take on the task, which turned out to be far more complex than I expected. With help from my friend (and thriller scholar) Hank Wagner, we asked various knowledgeable critics and thriller authors to make suggestions. We agreed that the year 2000 would be the cut-off date, and even that seemed too recent for objectivity. Then we submitted the list to ITW members, asking for volunteers to write a 1,000-word essay about one of the books or else to suggest a thriller that wasn’t on the list. The book was a fundraiser for ITW—no one was going to get paid. Even so, some of the biggest names in the thriller world readily agreed to contribute. The commitment in their essays is obvious. In addition to an introduction, I contributed two essays, one about Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, the other about Geoffrey Household’s Rogue Male, a thriller that had a huge impact on me. My essay about Rogue Male is available for free on this website. Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads was nominated for Edgar, Anthony, and Macavity awards.