(This also applies to suspenseful plot lines in other genres.) I'm wondering how you like to handle this, or how you've seen your favorite writers handle this: How do you keep your POV character(s) in the dark about the danger a certain fellow-character or plot situation poses to them, without causing your readers to think they're unbelievably stupid not to see the threat? It's my observation that we humans, unless we're congenital worrywarts, will see people and situations as normal or merely quirky, until a pattern forms or things blow sky-high and we're forced to see how abnormal life has become. Do people in novels have the same privilege? In the second chapter of my WIP a man comes to my male main character with a business proposition. This proposal will allow him wide scope to do the work he lives to do, and the money to keep his struggling business (his life's dream) afloat. There are one or two details about the offer that might be a little off-key, but in his enthusiasm my MMC subconsciously chooses not to hear them. He wants to do the work; he wants to make the money; he wants to fulfill his vision: what's wrong with that? He doesn't know he's about to be caught up in a suspense plot! But the reader does know. It says "suspense" right there on the cover or in the Amazon search string. I set up the potential client's creepiness through the POV of my female main character in chapter one, and a typical reader will already know or strongly suspect this man will be the villain. After all, this is suspense---there has to be a villain, right? So my latest beta reader thought my highly-intelligent MMC was impossibly, unbelievably stupid even to consider this character's proposition, let alone to want to accept it. Doesn't he know the bad guy has arrived? Doesn't he understand he's Up to No Good? Ergo, she concluded, there's a fundamental weakness in my plot. Now, she's the only one of my beta readers who has flagged this, or flagged it so early. (Another beta thought my MMC was taking the willful ignorance thing too far at the midpoint of the novel; I've corrected that and will correct it further.) But how do you keep your readers from hearing the ominous soundtrack so loudly from the very start that they question why the protagonists don't hear it, too?