First up, let me admit that thrillers are by far my favourite books to read. However, that said, I love, love, love a series and will choose those over stand-alone stories in many cases.
- Setting – I’m a sucker for a great setting. But not just the visual aspects. As a reader i want to feel as though I’ve been parachuted into the scene – wearing an invisibility cloak, of course. I want to feel the scorching sun or biting wind, smell the smoke , hear the footsteps behind me and touch spiky thistles or slimy walls.
- Clues – Let me be part of the investigating team, piecing the puzzle together, screaming at the protagonist when he/she misses something obvious or cheering when some minute detail garners importance.
- Twists – Not just an obstruction that frustrates the MC (although those are necessary too) but a twist that takes my breath away, making me turning that page filled with anticipation and dread.
- A simple solution – Along the way, there should be triumphs and pitfalls, teasing and confusing the plot, but a simple solution at the end is sublime. An outcome that is so elegant and effortless you can’t believe you missed it.
- A killer hook (not a cliffhanger) – I want a story that engages me with the characters, makes me interested in what else they have to offer and convinces me to want to read more about them. Of course, the story itself must be resolved – because to not do that just makes me switch off and never pick up another book by that author. If I have invested time and grown to care for these characters, then I want more. Give me a killer hook that will placate me until the next adventure is available. Don’t leave me in limbo.
Don’t leave me dangling … give me hope 🙂