Thankful for Thrillers by Colby Marshall
I’m one of those obnoxious people ready to pull in the tree and throw on its lights as I shove the jack-o-lantern out the door on November 1st. But don’t accuse me of not giving the turkey his moment in the spotlight just yet, because when I ring in the season, even before the bird’s had a chance to properly take up residence in my freezer, it’s actually a tribute to what I think of Thanksgiving. Yep. To me, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve…the final months leading us into a new year are all one big excuse to par-tay like it’s 1999, only this time, we know Y2K isn’t that scary, so at midnight, no one’s wondering if we’ll lose power and soon be thrust into the Apocalypse.
But I can appreciate the beauty of the individual holidays, too, which is why as Thanksgiving approaches, I thought I’d pass along a few of the thrillers I’m most thankful for. That way, I’ve both showed you I don’t shirk the Thanksgiving tradition just because, for me, it’s a bigger part of a multi-piece puzzle, and I’ve also let you know what you might want to pick up at the bookstore to have on hand in case on the day the turkey is carved, you find yourself locking yourself in your room/hiding in the woodshed out back to escape the cheek-pinching fingers of aunts and the sticky hands of nephews. Now, you’ll be prepared to last through the endless retellings of not-so-funny memories that involve people throwing up, your mom and her sisters making you feel guilty for how much their decision to have you hurt their bodies physically, and your dad’s insistence that you stop laughing at your grandfather drooling in the pumpkin pie. No one has to die for the boredom and misery caused by so many hours spent with loved ones that you start forgetting why the “loved” title is in there in the first place. Not in your dining room, anyway. Sit back, relax, and be thankful these characters could die to give you a little distraction as you read an author’s list of thrillers to be thankful for.
This work of general fiction isn’t actually a thriller or even a crime novel, but the terrifying and relevant scary subject matter places it firmly in the category in my mind nonetheless. Readers can be thankful that no matter how quirky your family members currently fighting over the TV remote are, chances are they aren’t as dangerously dysfunctional as the ones in this heartbreakingly real tome.
Recently widowed Sarah found comfort in her new neighbor and best friend Courtney, a shoulder to lean on as she tried to hold things together for her two sons struggling to come to terms with their dad’s death, and, at the same time, grieve and move on herself. But her world is rocked to the core when the person who’d reached out to help stabilize her life in upheaval only to become her best—and only close friend—in the world is arrested on child molestation charges. Her husband, who is also implicated but his wife claims is solely responsible, has vanished. Sarah must now protect her own family while at the same time digging for answers and grappling with hard truths to learn if her best friend is being falsely accused or if she was never the woman she thought she knew.
Winner of the 2014 Thriller Award for Best Novel, Pyper’s tale of English professor David Ullman begins as he and his young daughter Tess embark on a trip to Venice after receiving a mysterious invitation from a Milton scholar. But instead of a needed getaway, Ullman is thrust into a world where he must face his own demons when his daughter Tess is taken, and his only guide is a copy of Milton’s Paradise Lost. He must use it to find clues to save his daughter but also to discover the nature of his enemy and his own, tragic past.
Use this book when you’re standing around the table with everyone else during the obligatory pre-eating waiting period. You know, when you’re supposed to think about all the things you’re thankful for, but instead are secretly planning how you’ll avoid Aunt Trudy’s mystery gumbo without hurting her feelings. Think of this book, and then try to ignore the stares as you declare how thankful you are that none of your loved ones have been abducted in Europe this Thanksgiving.
After you read as serial killer Edgler Foreman Vess breaks into a home, planning to kill the entire family inside, in the very opening scene, you’ll understand right away why you should be thankful for your families’ strange eating habits. This “lovely” fellow charms a spider right down from the ceiling…and eats him.
Chyna just happens to be sleeping over at her friend Laura’s house the night a serial killer breaks in and kills her friend and the friend’s entire family. Chyna escapes the home only to find herself now trapped in the killer’s RV, which he uses to travel to his murderous destinations. But she has boarded without his knowledge and is safe, for now. But she’s also learned the identity of his next victims, and they have no idea what’s coming for them. Can Chyna stay hidden and safe from this psychopath and at the same time somehow manage to warn the next innocent family this horrible killer is on his way? So, as you eat cornbread and dressing today, no matter how hectic the day’s been or how kooky the characters, it could be way worse. Be thankful you’re not stowing away in the camper of a guy who eats spiders.
What thrillers are you thankful for?
Writer by day, ballroom dancer and choreographer by night, Colby Marshall has a tendency to turn every hobby she has into a job, thus ensuring that she is a perpetual workaholic. In addition to her 9,502 jobs, she is a proud member of International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime. She is actively involved in local theatres as a choreographer and occasionally indulges her prima donna side by taking the stage as an actress. She lives in Georgia with her family, two mutts, and an array of cats that, if she were a bit older, would qualify her immediately for crazy cat lady status. Both her debut thriller, Chain of Command and the second book in her McKenzie McClendon series, The Trade, are now available, and the first two books in her FBI profiler series featuring Dr. Jenna Ramey are forthcoming from Penguin/Berkley. The first, Color Blind, can be ordered here.
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