Cedar Falls Public Library discussion

Suspense Fiction

Comments Showing 1-28 of 28 (28 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Cedar (last edited Oct 30, 2014 11:13AM) (new)

Cedar | 6 comments Mod
Throughout the month of November we are going to discuss suspense fiction. Below is a list of suggestions to get everyone started, but please don't feel limited to this list.

Before I Go To Sleep
Gone Girl
Elizabeth Is Missing
The Husband's Secret
Defending Jacob

message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy | 263 comments Mod
I would like to recommend "Defending Jacob" by William Landay. Most of the book deals with the effects on a family of a teen who is accused of murder. Jacob's Father is an attorney. I found it to be thought provoking and suspenseful.

message 3: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 67 comments Mod
This one isn't quite available yet (I won an advance review copy, but it's publishing date is January), but I would highly recommend it for suspense fiction: The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins. It's hard to describe without giving too much away, but a lonely alcoholic named Rachel takes the train every day and fantasizes about the occupants of a house she sees from through the train window on a regular basis. The female half of this couple disappears, and Rachel finds herself drawn into the case. To complicate matters Rachel's drinking problem sometimes results in blackouts, leaving holes in her memory and making people reluctant to trust her. This book kept me guessing!

message 4: by Amy (new)

Amy | 263 comments Mod
That does sound good! Kind of reminds me a little bit of Rear Window except Jimmy Stewart was a reliable witness, he just couldn't get around. I will definitely put it on my list!

message 5: by Sheryl (new)

Sheryl | 109 comments Mod
Defending Jacob is a great suspense novel--definitely a page turner. It definitely provokes a good discussion, too.

I'll put in a plug for "Before I Go to Sleep" by S.J. Watson. I could not put this book down! Protagonist Christine has a special sort of amnesia--every morning when she wakes up her memory has been wiped clean because...well, not going to give anything away here, but Christine becomes suspicious of some people around her, and figures out a neat way to cope with that overnight loss. Another great suspense novel. Movie came out earlier this fall, haven't seen yet.
Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth, but not a great score on IMDB.

message 6: by Sheryl (new)

Sheryl | 109 comments Mod
Another great suspense novel I read awhile back was "Until You're Mine" by Samantha Hayes. British. Claudia is pregnant, and stepmother to twin boys. Claudia's husband is in the military, and won't be around to help much, so they hire Zoe as nanny. Boundaries are crossed, motives suspect, and zingers happen. I listened to this one, and couldn't wait to get in my car and drive so I could hear more.

message 7: by Sheryl (new)

Sheryl | 109 comments Mod
I originally read "Gone Girl" just to see what the fuss was. I thought it was a really good suspense novel until a point where it seemed like the author just wrote herself out of plot twists and got weird and gave up. But I'd like to say, after seeing the movie (which was pretty good), that the ending has redeemed itself when I saw it on the screen. It's the way it had to be--subtle obsession, and I missed that first time around.

message 8: by Amy (new)

Amy | 263 comments Mod
I really liked "Before I go to sleep" as well. I saw that there was movie starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth with the same title and was wondering if was based on the book. Too bad it hasn't gotten good reviews. I had heard that "Until You're Mine" was good.
I felt the same way about "The Husband's Secret" by Liane Moriarty. I read it because I wanted to see what the fuss was about and really liked it. Cecilia finds a letter written to her by her husband and she is not supposed to read it until he is dead. She has to grapple with if she should read it or not. I also liked her latest book "Big Little Lies". It unravels the events leading up to a death at an elementary school’s trivia night. You know someone dies at the beginning, but you don't know who until the end.

message 9: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 67 comments Mod
I also really liked Before I Go to Sleep, The Girl on the Train actually reminded me of it a bit. I've read Cartwheel, Gone Girl, and Elizabeth is Missing, and liked them all pretty well. Elizabeth is Missing, like Before I Go to Sleep and The Girl on the Train, deals with a narrator with an unreliable memory, which keeps the reader on their toes. I read The Husband's Secret, but didn't love it; the epilogue was the most interesting thing about it, the rest was a book about women and their woman-y problems, which isn't necessarily my cup of tea.

message 10: by Amy (new)

Amy | 263 comments Mod
I'm surprised I liked "The Husband's Secret". I know this is silly, but I stayed away for a while because I didn't like the cover with it's pink flowers on the cover. I thought it looked too Harlequin romance. For once I predicted the secret ahead of time. "Big Little Lies" kept me guessing though.

message 11: by Sheryl (new)

Sheryl | 109 comments Mod
I loved "The Husband's Secret" at first, but felt that the story descended down the dark hole of melodrama before it wrapped up. I would have read the letter, not a doubt in my mind. Some good suspense there.

I think you're right with the unreliable narrators, Jessica. Two of my very all time ever favorites (Life of Pi, Atonement) fall into that category and maybe that's why. I love it when the author pulls one over on me (as long as the author has played fair).

message 12: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Michael | 48 comments It's hard to really define suspense for me..is it a mystery, thriller, horror...any book that keeps you turning those pages to see who don it or what happens to those characters you have connected with. That said, I can comment on some of the titles you all have mentioned. I was not a fan of Defending Jacob..why?? Just seemed like I have read that before. I finally read GONE GIRL this year and that was my page turner (along with DOCTOR SLEEP) of the year! I think the ending was very fitting for those characters..what they deserved..and I thought the movie followed the book wonderfully!
It's been awhile since I read BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP and when I saw the movie was coming up I thought for sure I would go see it.as this was another can't put down book for me. I saw the previews and decided I would not bother. I think this is one book that your own imagination serves you the best and even though I am a Colin Firth fan I really have no desire to see the movie! READ THE BOOK...fast suspense filled story!!
Some of the other titles mentioned are on my to-read list...so I look forward to reading them!!

message 13: by Amy (new)

Amy | 263 comments Mod
I think there are different kinds of suspense books, but the key is if it's a page turner (what will happen next) When I read "Defending Jacob" parts of it reminded me of the Natalie Halloway case.
I think the movie of Gone Girl did a pretty good job of following the book (of course the book is always better) It was fun to watch and hear people at the movie that hadn't read the book because they didn't know all the crazy stuff that was coming up.
So you really liked "Doctor Sleep". It's the sequel to the Shining, right? Can someone read Doctor Sleep if they just saw the movie of The Shining? (Of course the book is better than the movie)

message 14: by Sheryl (new)

Sheryl | 109 comments Mod
I liked "Doctor Sleep," too, Cindy. And Amy, I think if you've seen the movie "The Shining," you'll be kind of okay. It had been sometime since I read "The Shining," so re-read it for this occasion, and was glad I did. So I guess it depends on how much of an experience you want this to be. I wanted it to be fantastic, because "The Shining" is one of my favorites, so I wanted to remember every detail before I went into "Doctor Sleep."

message 15: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Michael | 48 comments I really enjoyed DOCTOR SLEEP..Stephen King hardly ever disappoints me!! Amy, if you read the book again you are better off because the movie butchers the book. King hated it and then made his own tv miniseries of THE SHINING..if you can get a hold of that copy...to me it is very suspenseful..that is a broad genre!!

message 16: by Amy (new)

Amy | 263 comments Mod
I've never read The shining so I will have to do that first. Yeah it seems that a lot of the earlier Stephen King books that were made into movies didn't translate well.
Yes, suspense is a broad genre that's for sure. Most of the books we have been talking about have been more psychological. Has anyone read any Lee Child's Jack Reacher books? One of these days I would like to give them a try. They are suspense but more of the thriller kind of suspense.

message 17: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Michael | 48 comments I have not read the Lee Child series but I know Aleta is a huge fan!! I have enjoyed the Harry Hole (Norwegian detective) series by Jo Nesbo...very dark and gritty subjects and Harry has many flaws but that I like rather then the perfect protaganist..flawed is better. To each his own taste I guess...it would be boring if we all liked the same thing!!

message 18: by Dave (new)

Dave (balboafish) | 19 comments I have also loved Jack Reacher and Harry Hole books. flawed but fun protagonists :-)

message 19: by Amy (new)

Amy | 263 comments Mod
Thanks guys! I will have to read Lee Child's books. Since Jo Nesbo has come up several times in this discussion and the mystery discussion, I put his first book, "The Bat" on hold.

message 20: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Michael | 48 comments Amy, the first Harry Hole book I read was THE SNOWMAN and that had me hooked..reminded me of the DRAGON TATTOO series for its density of plot and being Scandinavian. So then I went badk and started from the beginning with THE BAT. If I had read that one first I might not have gone on with the series. The SNOWMAN and REDBREAST are my favorite.

message 21: by Amy (new)

Amy | 263 comments Mod
Good to know Cindy. I was wondering if they were similar to The Girl with the dragon tattoo series. That's another good suspenseful series.

message 22: by Dave (new)

Dave (balboafish) | 19 comments I agree Cindy. Best to read one of those two first. i think Snowman was one of the first translated and The Bat, his first book, was the last to be translated.

message 23: by Amy (new)

Amy | 263 comments Mod
Thanks! I will read The redbreast first since it came out earlier than The Snowman. The first Jo Nesbo book I noticed was The Snowman. The cover was very appealing to me for some reason. That just show the importance of a good cover. Another reason I didn't want to read The Husband's secret was because I thought the cover looked hokey. Silly but true.

message 24: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Michael | 48 comments I always like to read series in order, but many times I have picked up a novel, not paying attention, and liked it so much that I have went back and started at the beginning..such as the Harry Hole books. But having said that, I think for continuity, it is best to start at the beginning!

message 25: by Amy (new)

Amy | 263 comments Mod
Too late! I started the Redbreast last night. Not far into it though. I usually start at the beginning of series. Sometimes the author's first book is not the best and if someone reads that and they think meh they won't go onto the others. I figure I'll read The Redbreast and if I like it I will read the first one.

message 26: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Michael | 48 comments I am just about finished with THE REDEEMER, which if the one before SNOWMAN. I do think you picked the right one to start with..as I said I was not real enthralled with THE BAT and have not read the second one COCKROACH..or somthing like that. Now I will have to recall all the nuances of SNOWMAN since I will be skipping to the next!

message 27: by Amy (new)

Amy | 263 comments Mod
I know what you mean about remembering the nuances. I recently started a document that lists plots and other nuances so I can jog my memory. Unfortunately I don't always take the time to do it!

message 28: by Amy (new)

Amy | 263 comments Mod
I finished "Cartwheel" It was pretty good. It was based on the Amanda Knox case. I like books that are based on real life events. "Cartwheel" had different perspectives which made me think. For example they had the prosecutors perspective.

back to top