Finding a good thriller book isn’t hard. Most good horror books work as thrillers also. One of my favorite thriller books is Bad Moon Rising by John Mayberry. Each year in Pine Deep the locals throw a Halloween horror festival but this years festival will be host to a battle between good and evil as a small group of vigilantes with weapons, martial arts skills and a werewolf battle an army of vampires and ghouls and an evil ghost.
I picked up this book after I heard an interview with the author on a podcast. (Podcasting sells books and music and if I ever go bankrupt I’m blaming Horroraddicts.net) After the first 100 pages this book, it is non stop horror action. The whole town has been cut off from the rest of civilization and the townspeople and tourists are getting killed by the dozen. The evil does not stop there, the vampires are planning on going from town to town until they take over the world and only the citizens of Pine Deep can stop it.
This book has likeable characters and great imagery. The only thing I didn’t like about this book is that even though the author called it a stand alone novel in the interview I listened to, there are two books that came before it that included the same characters. The first 100 pages of this book refers to what happened in the two previous novels (Dead Man’s Song and Ghost Road Blues). Bad Moon Rising is definitely a must read and I look forward to reading other books by John Mayberry.
The next book I found was Blood Blade by Marcus Pelegrimas. Video game programmer Cole Warnecki while on vacation has an encounter with a large werewolf. He is saved by two members of the Skinners which is a group of people dedicated to protecting humans from supernatural creatures. After the battle, Cole is entrusted with a sword that has to be taken to the Skinner’s headquarters. When Cole reaches his destination, he learns that humans are not on top of the food chain and a war between werewolves and vampires is looming. It’s up to the Skinners to stop it.
I really enjoyed this book, it’s the first book in a series of novels and is a good combination of horror and action. I loved the way they described the mythology of the skinners and how they face their enemies. I also liked how the different locations of the book are described. I’ve already bought the second book in the series and look forward to reading it.
Another book is one by Michael Crichton called Prey. In this story about science gone wrong, a group of scientists working with nanotechnology have created a group of microscopic robots. Problem is, the robots have escaped and are carnivorous.
Michael Crichton is the author of one of my favorite novels called Timeline. Prey was not as good as Timeline but it was still a good read. Crichton does a great job of character building, even if your not into the action of the book he makes you like the characters enough that you want to keep reading anyway. This book might fit more into the scifi genre then the horror genre but the idea of being eaten by microscopic robots is definitely scary.
The last book I want to look at is Creepers by David Morrell. This was a book that I had to buy because its on a subject matter that fascinates me. Creepers are urban explorers who like to go into abandoned buildings to investigate. In this book, a college professor and a group of graduate students break into an abandoned hotel that’s scheduled to be demolished. They quickly find out that they are not the only ones creeping around.
Creepers is a great read. Morrell is a master storyteller and has written a story that easily fits into both the horror and mystery genre. The idea of being stalked in an old hotel when you can’t find your way out is enough to give me nightmares.
These sound like some really interesting reads. I’ll have to check them out.
It’s strange how the word “thriller” has changed since the early ’90s/late ’80s. Before then, it used to refer to the horror genre especially in film and TV. Hence Michael Jackson’s hit song of the early ’80s “Thriller”. Today it mostly refers to suspense-action movies and novels. Since much of the same psychological aspects fall into both horror and suspense (thriller) it’s easy to mix these genres and make them work really well.
I agree when I was a kid I thought of horror and thrillers as the same. Now thriller is something that would fit a spy movie or a mystery.
I just had this discussion on another list with someone who didn’t understand why I liked Maberry’s books so much. His complaint was that Patient Zero didn’t have much in the way of in depth story characterization. And while I think he had a point, I don’t ascribe it to Maberry’s lack of writing chops (anyone reading the Pine Deep Trilogy can see the man can create him some CHARACTERS) but more to Patient Zero & the follow up Dragon Factory being more of a horror/thriller sub genre where the action over rides characterization.
I liked Mayberry’s work and will have to read some of his other stuff.