1. Sheriff Woody
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    Sheriff Woody Active Member

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    Recommendations for suspense thrillers with "average joe" protagonist

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Sheriff Woody, Mar 23, 2013.

    I'm looking for recommendations of suspense thrillers that do *not* feature a detective, or a police officer, or a spy, or any specific profession whatsoever. I'd like to read a story about a normal person that must deal with whatever situation he or she has become caught up in.

    Fast-paced and well-written stories are preferred. Bonus points for fewer locations and a compressed time frame. Not looking for revenge stories, either.

    Thanks. :)
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I can't think of any novels that meet that description off the top of my head, but it sounds like you need to watch some Hitchcock movies. North by Northwest, for example. Or The Man Who Knew Too Much.
     
  3. Sheriff Woody
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    Sheriff Woody Active Member

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    Oh, I am a HUGE Hitchcock fan. North By Northwest is one of my favorite films. ;) However, Rear Window, Rope, Vertigo, Dial M For Murder, etc. are more in line with what I'm looking for. NBNW has a little too much spy action and globe-trotting. I'm in the mood for something more contained.

    I can't think of any books that fit the description off the top of my head, either, but I can think of plenty of films that do. Collateral, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Hard Candy, etc.

    Surely there has to be some books out there. I don't believe that nobody is writing that type of thriller outside of film.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    "The Desperate Hours"
    "The Most Dangerous Game"
    Both are short stories, but I think they are in line with what you are looking for.
     
  5. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    The Grave Tattoo, by Val McDerimid. The main character is a poetry scholar.
    There are 4 or 5 subplots that all come together at the end. A fairly interesting read.
     
  6. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you tried any of Gillian Flynn's novels?
     
  7. Sheriff Woody
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    Sheriff Woody Active Member

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    The Desperate Hours is a pretty awesome movie with Humphrey Bogart and Fredric March. I recommend it. ;)

    I'm looking for more modern stories, however.


    I have not. What would you recommend?
     
  8. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    She's got three out, the most recent (and most successful and well-known) of which is Gone Girl. Her second novel is Dark Places, which I read and also liked very much. The first is called Sharp Objects, which also received very good reviews, and I have it in my TBR pile, but haven't gotten to it yet.

    I really enjoyed Gone Girl, although it's structured in kind of an unusual way, with two different narrators -- one for the first half and one for the second. Some people said it took them a little while to get into it, but there's a major twist in the story, so people who said they were lukewarm at first enjoyed it by the end. I'm sure there are tons of reviews on amazon and goodreads, and I believe it's being released in paperback this month. This is a story that's hard to describe without spoiling it, so you may need to be on the lookout for some reviews that spoil it, and might feel unsatisfied with some of the reviews that don't. So it might require a small leap of faith.

    So, I can definitely recommend Gone Girl and Dark Places. I expect to like Sharp Objects just as much. She does write about some very disturbing characters.
     
  9. BUDDY GORGEOUS
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    BUDDY GORGEOUS Active Member

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    'A simple plan' by Scott Smith was really good, I read it during a week of night shifts and I had trouble putting it down. I haven't seen the movie but if it is anything like the book it should be good too. The main characters were all regular, Joe-lunchbox type people instead of your usual detective or pathologist. As recommended by Chicagoliz, Gillian Flynn is great also. Tom Franklin 'Crooked Letter, crooked letter' blew me away, a very different type of thriller that became a treasured book to me... erm.... trying to think of others haha. Tim Willocks 'Bad City Blues' is an wesome book with alot of punch.
     
  10. Sheriff Woody
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    Sheriff Woody Active Member

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    I read both of Smith's novels (A Simple Plan and The Ruins). Both were great.

    The movie for A Simple Plan is somewhat different than the book, but it's every bit as good. I highly recommend it.

    The movie for The Ruins, on the other hand...yeah, just stick with the book.
     

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