View Full Version : Suggest some suspense novels for me, please.

29-01-2002, 23:53:56
I'm looking for some good authors...but I'm PICKY. I haven't read anything for fun in YEARS and now it looks like suspense may be my interest.

Things I have read that kept me interested (meaning I didn't get bored and start skimming and reading out of sequence) and actually read front to cover:

Jurassic Park
Airforce One
The Shining (the original)
Great White

I'm not into horror or mystery or military or medical BUT I am not disinterested in these things per say. Just depends on the story. I tend to like things with a good steady, if not fast pace. The deeper the better, but not so deep that I'm not learning anything other than the fact that the author loves his own prose. I don't like to be lectured or feel like I am one of the 'masses' to whom the author is imparting his wonderful wisdom.

So whatdaya got for me?

Today I am reading Primary Colors, not suspense, but I enjoy a good laugh...but I will need something in the next day or so and Qaj has my copy of Battlefield Earth.

30-01-2002, 01:27:28
Have you ever read anything by John LeCarre?
If not, give him a try. His Cold War spy stuff is terriffic. His post-Cold War stuff is terrific too.

30-01-2002, 13:22:18
The Tailor of Panama is excellent LeCarre, both funny and tragic, with not a little bit of suspense and intrigue. Smiley's People was another good one, though a little anti-climactic (granted, that was sort of the point, however).

Fail-Safe by Eugene Burdick is an old, but very tense read. This and the subsequent movie made from it were what Dr. Strangelove was made to parody.

Haven't read any recently published stuff that would classify as suspense, though.

Oh, and hi Dona.

30-01-2002, 15:12:51
My two all-time favourites, mainly because they're stylistically so great:

Frederick Forsyth - Day of the Jackal. Before Forsyth became a conservative nutter and dime-a-dozen novelist, he wrote this stunning 60s novel that has to rank among the very best of all time. Slowly, meticulously built up through cold, hard detail, it nevertheless manages to keep the reader enthralled throughout. Exciting from the introduction to the last page...

Martin Cruz Smith - Gorky Park. Half political novel, half thriller about an investigator in increasingly decadent eighties Moscow. Immensely well-written, but where it truly excels is in the fact that it uses the personal third person tense throughout, never switches the perspective off of the main chracter, yet still manages to keep the tension up. Masterful.

30-01-2002, 17:55:57
Just a note on Guy's note: "Smiley's People" (1980) is the final book in a three (or four) series. The first book with George Smiley, I believe, is "The Spy Who Came In from the Cold" (1963) the first of the trilogy is "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy"(1974) "The Honorable Schoolboy"(1977) is the middle book.

30-01-2002, 22:28:32
Thanks! I'll check these out tomorrow and see which grabs my attention best.

31-01-2002, 10:54:56
I endorse the recommendation of le Carre. Even before 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold' is one called 'Call for the Dead'. Haven't read his latest, but one of my favourites is 'A Perfect Spy'. Another writer in a similar vein (spy thrillers) is Len Deighton.

My prediliction is for 'thrillers' (as opposed to suspense), and so the authors that I would tout as being worthy of pursuit are:

Desmond Bagley - personal favourite is 'High Citadel'
Joe Poyer - 'North Cape'
Alistair MacLean - (tails off in his later works, but highlights are -) 'HMS Ulysses', 'When Eight Bells Toll'
Eric Ambler - an older generation, but an excellent author
Adam Hall (Elleston Trevor) - any Quiller book

31-01-2002, 11:00:08
Funny... I'm reading a Le Carre now, The Constant Gardener. It's very good. A lot better than a lot of the stuff in this kind of genre.

Le Carre does some clever things with changing the perspective from which you are seeing the story. He also plays around with the timing of events so that it takes a while to work out who the good guys in the book are. The story starts half way through and then progresses to the end, filling you in with the rest of the story in bits and pieces along the way but in a clever manner.

Good characters as well, believable ones and it's good the way he can switch round how one person is thinking and how others perceive them.

Quite a pleasant surprise, I was expecting a bit of a pulp thriller but it's got a bit more too it than that.

04-02-2002, 09:38:58
So, what did you go for in the end?

04-02-2002, 10:27:05
Ok, how about BINARY by Michael Crichton.

very good plot, and really enthralling (one of his better ones).

Would definitely suggest it and if you want a james bond of the high seas / high octane adventure I'd also suggest 'ShockWave' by Clive Cussler.

04-02-2002, 13:24:31
In my opinion the two most boring types of novel other then girly stuff- is Spy novels that get made into films starring Harrison Ford and stuff about the SAS- the kinda stuff a Channel 5 watcher might get excited about. Does Le Carre fall into either of those two categories?

04-02-2002, 13:34:07
i agree with you qweeg, but i think le carré is a bit more refined than the 'harrison ford' novels (all tom clancy books).

still i don't want to get into an argument about tom clancy...

04-02-2002, 13:36:11
From this one book Le Carre is a lot better than that.

04-02-2002, 15:19:15
Le Carre is a lot more character/situation oriented. His stories are all about the relationships and organizations, whereas Tom Clancy is mostly focused on the hardware and operations. Le Carre is the superior writer, but will not fulfill the techie in you.

04-02-2002, 20:21:48
Still have to get to the library--got distracted by life!

Vincent Fandango
04-02-2002, 20:27:27
I never really liked all the spy stuff. I read some Le Carre and Forsythe, but it's too far away from my own life experiences, so it didn't work really.
I read a lot of mystery stuff and liked some of the book, especially Janwillem van de Wetering and Tomy Hillerman and, of course, the Sjöwall Wahlöö stuff.

04-02-2002, 21:03:02
Good thing about The Constant Gardener it's not really a spy book.

05-02-2002, 00:15:12
I'm sorry, sunshock, but I think that Clive Cussler is appalling. I have read one book of his, and I will never pick up another. 'Binary' by Crighton was good, along with his others.

Just remembered another of my favourite authors from the past: Gavin Lyall. And sitting in front of me, I've got another couple of Ted Allbeury books (spy thrillers, yet again).

For real rip-roaring suspense novels, I don't think you can beat Wilbur Smith. My favourites are 'The Sunbird' (- a weighty tome indeed!) and 'Eagle in the Sky'. 'Monsoon' (949 pages) is staring me down, but I haven't succumbed yet.

05-02-2002, 09:42:36
I read Warlock by Wilbur Smith not that long ago. Good book that was. When I was reading it some guy on the train came up to me to ask me how good it was because apparently it's part of some kind of trilogy but it read well as a stand alone book. Plus the books are fat which means they last a long time.

Read one Clive Cussler and, like Noisy, won't bother with any more.

Gavin Lyall is OK.

Vincent Fandango
05-02-2002, 12:05:11
"Gavin Lyall" looks like an anagram of "u r all gay"

05-02-2002, 14:20:42
The Sjövall-Wahlöö stuff is great. But it's more transparent social criticism and drama than suspense, really. None of the solutions really pop out at you, it's the humour and the character portraits that works.

05-02-2002, 14:41:20
Originally posted by Vincent Fandango
"Gavin Lyall" looks like an anagram of "u r all gay"

maybe it should be gavin lyall-watts :)