FROM: PEOPLE WHO KNOW ABOUT PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLERS
RE: HOW TO PROPERLY ENJOY A PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER
01. Stop trying to unpick the plot or spot the clues from page one.
02. Quit rolling your eyes when sentences begin with “And suddenly…” or “For one wild moment…” or “And then I stumbled. A rock I had not seen…”. Sometimes things do happen suddenly. Sometimes moments are wild. Sometimes rocks jump out at you.
03. There’s no such thing as too many unreliable narrators.
04. You don’t get cranky when contemporary lit novels follow familiar narrative arcs so why, for goodness sakes, do re-interpretations of The Talented Mr Ripley or Single White Female irritate you so much?
05. A good location really jazzes things up – go with it.
2/5 You’ve probably guessed how I felt about Christine Mangan’s Tangerine?
I received my copy of Tangerine from the publisher, Hachette Australia, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
There is a glass of mint tea before her, only recently delivered, and she marvels at the colors: a rich forest green on top, a golden amber on the bottom.
I’m sure fans of thrillers will love this one, it just wasn’t for me!
Yeah, I find psychological thrillers a total yawn. Since I deduce from this amusing review that we are more or less on the same page, I now know that if you ever find one you like, I can trust your recommendation.
(Am prepared to wait a while, of course.)
All of the mainstream thrillers – Gone Girl, Girl on a Train – did nothing for me. I’m sure there are good ones out there and I’ll let you know if I come across one! (That said, I found Heather, The Totality quite gripping and more recently, Harper’s The Dry although I think that was more a crime novel rather than thriller).
Gone Girl was awful, though. I haven’t read The Girl on the Train or any other Girl books (other than The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) just because, get a better imagination all you aspiring blockbuster writers. I enjoy psychological thrillers, but they have to be either very well written or wittingly schlocky and escapist. The ones in between, that think they’re serious and well written, they can get in the bin.
Brilliant 😀 I suspect I’ve enjoyed this review a lot more than I would the book. I always behave as you describe in 01, and number 02 would drive me nuts. Plus 03 – there definitely can be too many unreliable narrators. Not for me, this one!
I think you’ve nailed it! Although that cover is very seductive…
02. Artificially induced tension drives me nuts. The best thing about audiobooks – the only way I ever get close to popular/genre fiction – is the skip button.
Same and it’s what turns me off most books in this genre – I listened to a few of Lianne Moriarghty’s books on audio and hit the skip button a few times – all the drawn out suspense and to-ing and fro-ing was tiresome.
Double damn. I was hopeful this one would be great.
I had been looking forward to reading this book, because I do love a good psychological thriller, but , like you, it just didn’t grip me. Your creative review was really well done. Thanks!
It’s a shame it didn’t live up to the hype!
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