Archive for the ‘Thriller’ Category

Better Than the Book?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

The Girl on the TrainFor those who enjoy the skewering of accepted wisdom, like “the book is always better than the movie,” read this:

The Girl on the Train Movie Will Surpass the Mediocre Book

The movie debuts Oct. 16, 2016, so we have a year before we find out if this prediction os accurate.

Gillian Flynn Feels the Pressure

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

9780804188975_7bc6dGillian Flynn’s “new book” The Grownup (PRH/Crown; BOT; OverDrive Sample), released this week, is actually a short story that appeared in an earlier anthology. And, as a ghost story, it’s in a different genre from her domestic thriller Gone Girl. Fans, of course, are pressuring for a new full-length novel.

She gave those fans some hope during an interview with Salon, stating “I’m starting it right now. I’m a slow writer. I kind of overwrite and then whittle it down from there. I’m hoping to be done by end of next year. My guess is a 2017 publication.”

She is also suffering the anxiety of trying to live up to expectations after a runaway bestseller,

“I so wish I had one I was working on when Gone Girl came out. It’s a little intimidating to think about sending another thing out there. You’re never, ever going to repeat that thing – it was its own weird lightning in a bottle kind of thing … I think my main battle with the next one is to just do what has served me well so far, which is just write the kind of book I would read personally.”

Whatever the book is about, it will not revisit Amy and Nick. She says, “When people ask if I’m going to do a sequel, I always say ‘never say never.’ But it definitely won’t be the next one up. I feel like I need a break from their voices in my head.”

Flynn has a few other projects in the works that might get in her way. She is working with 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen on a heist thriller and is set to produce the TV series based on her novel Sharp Objects.

Domestic Thrillers Closer to Screen

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

Silent WifeJust after the announcement that the film adaptation of The Girl on the Train is set for release a year from now, comes news about two other titles in the genre are taking major steps closer to screens.

Director Adrian Lyne has been selected to head up the film version of The Silent Wife, (Penguin, 2013) with Nicole Kidman starring. Lyne has had experience with stories about relationships gone spectacularly wrong, having directed both Unfaithful and Fatal Attraction.

The debut novel by A.S.A. Harrison, published as an original trade paperback, was a surprise best seller in 2013.

big little liesAnother domestic thriller, also starring Kidman, this time along with Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies (PRH/Putnam, 2013) is in the works as an HBO limited series. It was just announced that Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club) is in talks to make his TV directorial debut adapting the novel by Liane MoriartyDeadline calls this “the highest-profile limited series packages to come together for HBO since True Detective.”

Kidman and Witherspoon will produce the series. The pair clearly love the domestic thriller genre. This is the second title by Morality they have acquired, having optioned the rights last year to The Husband’s Secret  (Penguin/Putnam/Einhorn, 2013). In May, they optioned S.J. Watson’s Second Life (Harper, June 2015). Earlier, Kidman starred in the film version of Watson’s debut, Before I Go to Sleep (Harper, 2011).  Witherspoon was a producer for the movie Gone Girl.

Amazingly, neither of them have anything to do with The Girl on the Train.

GOTT, The Movie,
Just One Year Away

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

The Girl on the TrainA release date of Oct. 7, 2016 has been set for the movie adaptation of the runaway best seller, The Girl on the Train, starring Emily Blunt. Also recently announced, Justin Theroux is in talks to play the lead character’s ex-husband after Chris Evans dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.

The movie will be shot in New York, but Emily Blunt will not adopt an American accent for the role. She told the BBC last month that she and director Tate Taylor have decided that she will play the main character the way she was written, as a British woman.

More GIRL On The Way

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Screen-Shot-2015-08-24-at-10.24.18-AMAfter the success of The Girl in the Spider’s Web, David Lagercrantz is on tap to write two more titles for the Millennium series.

Entertainment Weekly reports that his Swedish publisher has to release a fifth in 2017, followed by a sixth in 2019. Following the precedent of the previous, we can expect those books to be released simultaneously in the U.S.

According to a publisher statement, Lagercrantz found The Girl in the Spider’s Web “so much fun to write and such a breathtaking adventure” that he “just can’t resist” writing more.

In an earlier interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lagercrantz said he found plenty of subject material for the series, sharing that he kept notes while reading the first three books by Stieg Larsson and found “lots of threads that I’m sure he would have developed.”

After hitting the NYT Best Seller list at #1 on Sept. 20, The Girl in the Spider’s Web has remained in the top three, moving back to #2 this week.


Monday, August 24th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 10.24.18 AMEntertainment Weekly has the “U.S. exclusive” excerpt of The Girl in the Spider’s WebA Lisbeth Salander novel, continuing Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series by David Lagercrantz (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; RH Large Print)

The site prefaces the sneak peek with this mini review:

“[In] David Lagercrantz’s highly-anticipated (and thrillingly good) continuation of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, … Lisbeth is taking more risks than we’ve ever seen, and Blomkvist is desperate to get a scoop for Millennium to salvage his journalistic reputation.”

The UK Daily Mail has the same excerpt for their side of the pond but has added their own illustrations.

Security has been tight about story details according to both the WSJ and the Daily Mail, but all of that ends soon. The book will be released on August 27th in the UK and on Sept. 1 in the US.


Monday, August 24th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 12.18.09 PMRuth Ware’s In A Dark, Dark Wood (S&S/Gallery/Scout Press; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) has hit the NYT’s Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers list at #11.

It was our crystal ball pick last week and is gaining momentum. Some libraries are showing holds exceeding a 3:1 margin with others inching towards that threshold.



Thursday, August 20th, 2015

The Girl on the TrainThe setting of The Girl on the Train will be switched for the movie adaptation from the novel’s England to upstate New York, but the lead is still British.

Emily Blunt has recently completed negotiations for the starring role of Rachel. Deadline reports that Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson is currently in negotiations to play Rachel’s former husband’s wife, Anna.

Ferguson recently made her name by co-starring in an action movie with Tom Cruise, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. Blunt has had a similar experience, co-starring with Cruise in last year’s Edge of Tomorrow. Both actresses will draw on a different set of skills for this tale of psychological suspense.

There’s still several roles to be cast, including that of Rachel’s ex-husband Tom. Entertainment Weekly makes their suggestions (Tom Cruise is not one of them).

Tate Taylor (The Help) is directing the movie based on the novel by Paula Hawkins that is still at the top of best seller lists after 31 weeks.

UPDATE, 6/24/15: The third female lead has been cast. American actress Haley Bennett is set to play Megan, the woman Rachel watches from the train each morning until she suddenly disappears, drawing Rachel in to the search for her.

Paula Hawkins Hints at Next Book

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

In the NYT “Arts Beat” blog today, publishing reporter Alexandra Alter runs down the impressive sales figures for The Girl on the Train. Noting that author Paula Hawkins is “wrestling with her next novel,” Alter adds, “Judging by a remark she posted on Twitter recently, the new book promises to be equally dark.”

Like the book that made her famous, the next one will also be a psychological thriller, this time about two sisters, states the Guardian in an interview with the author in mid-July. Hawkins adds,

The new book will have a very different feel in some ways, and similar in others. I’d like to carry over some of that air of paranoia but it’s got a much larger cast of characters, and will be a less claustrophobic book, I think.

Publication date has not yet been announced. In an interview with The Daily Beast in April, she said she plans “to finish over the summer so that it hopefully will be out summer or autumn of next year.”


Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 11.44.38 AM“The smart summer thriller you’ve been waiting for. The black and harmful little book you want in your carry-on. The novel you should be reading tonight.” WOW — that’s what NPR’s Jason Sheehan says of Christopher Yates debut novel Black Chalk (Macmillan/Picador; OverDrive Sample).

In a review any writer would kill for, Sheehan reports that Yates “writes like he has 30 books behind him; like he’s been doing this so long that lit games and deviltry come to him as natural as breathing… I don’t want to say a word. And not because I don’t love the book (I do, deeply and weirdly), but because I want you to go into it cold, knowing nothing and expecting nothing, like I did. I want you to suck it down in one breath, like a lungful of dark water. For it to hit you the same way it did me: like a sucker punch delivered slowly and with exquisite precision.”

It’s also an IndieNext pick:

In Black Chalk, Yates has taken the traditional novel and tweaked it to create something very special. In Thatcher-era England, six first-year Oxford University students have come together as friends. As they get to know each other, an idea forms and quickly gains traction: they should play a ‘game,’ with the loser facing a consequence. All six agree, and the dares begin as innocuous fun. As time goes on, however, something shifts within the group and the stakes become much higher — even deadly. Fourteen years later, the remaining players meet in New York City to finish the ‘game,’ but what has transpired for them in the interim? And is winning worth the price? A gripping, sinister, and suspenseful read.”—Peggy Elefteriades, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT.

Jamie Lubin of The Huffington Post gets in on the game too, saying the novel “reminds me of a Hitchcock film: multiple twists and reveals, the suspenseful IV drip of information Yates doles out to the reader with a master hand, the shadowy yet intense secrets locked inside the characters while they struggle to maintain composure, the ominous atmospheres of Oxford and New York — so seemingly opposite but equally threatening.”

Debut novels can sometimes slip out of mind. The next time a reader asks for a twisty clever thriller and has exhausted the usual suspects, try to remember Black Chalk.


Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 9.53.14 AMLooking for a new suspense author to suggest? Take a look at Mary Kubica who appears on the verge of a breakout.

Following her debut The Good Girl, which was very positively received, her second novel Pretty Baby (Harlequin/MIRA; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) proves she is a name to know.

The L.A. Times recently gave it a strong review saying “It is rare that a novel of what has come to be called domestic suspense is thrilling and illuminating, but Pretty Baby manages to be both without overtly showing the hard work that has gone into striking the right balance. In doing so, it raises the ante on the genre and announces the welcome second coming of a talent well worth watching.”

New York magazine lists it as one of “8 Books You Need Read This July” and the reviewer for the web site Smart Bitches Trashy Books gave it an A, saying “Pretty Baby is Kubica’s second book, and her sophomore novel is even better than its predecessor, The Good Girl. That’s saying a lot because I loved The Good Girl like whoa.”  NPR also gives it a big thumbs up.

A People pick, we highlighted it in our Titles to Know for the week.


Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

What challenge will super-hacker Lisbeth Salander, the main character in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series, take on next?

The NSA, of course.

That’s one of the “key details” about the plot released today by British publisher MacLehose Press and reported in the Guardian.

Swedish writer David Lagercrantz was authorized by Larsson’s estate, managed by his father and brother, to write The Girl in the Spider’s Web as a sequel to the third title in the series, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, (2009).

Not everyone is happy about the publication. Larsson’s long-time domestic partner, Eva Gabrielsson who lost a bitter dispute over who would manage the writer’s estate, says this book titled That Which Does Not Kill Us in Swedish, would have made Larsson “furious. Who knows, maybe he’ll send a lightning bolt at the book launch.” She claims to have 200 pages of a fourth novel by Larsson and will never allow them to be published.

The Girl in the Spider's WebThe Girl in the Spider’s WebA Lisbeth Salander novel, continuing Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series
David Lagercrantz
RH/Knopf; RH Audio; RH Large Print
September 1, 2015


Monday, July 20th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 12.05.39 PMMaggie Mitchell’s Pretty Is (Macmillan/Henry Holt; OverDrive Sample; July 7) gets a strong review in The New York Times.

The debut novel, a mix of literary fiction and crime story, received somewhat grudging praise from the trade reviewers (“Despite drawbacks here, Mitchell is on her way to a place at the femmes fatales fiction dais with Megan Abbott, Gillian Flynn, Tana French, and Sharon Bolton”). It comes across as much more intriguing in the hands of the NYT reviewer, Sarah Lyall who says “What a satisfying novel, with its shifting perspectives and competing stories and notion that our relationship to the truth changes with time and distance. And what a relief to read a kidnapping thriller that is not an extended piece of fetishistic torture porn, that does not end with some nice young woman lying dead and dismembered in a pit.”

The novel traces the history of two young girls who are kidnapped and held for weeks before rescue. Years later, as adults, they meet again after one of them has written a novel based on the story and the other is tapped to star in the book’s film adaptation.

Like the trade reviewers, Lyall compares  Pretty Is to books by another popular author, “Like Gillian Flynn’s spiky, damaged heroines — I’m thinking particularly of Camille in Sharp Objects and Libby in Dark Places — the girls, Lois and Chloe, have dry, self-aware senses of humor that make the book that much more fun to read.” Add this one to your RA file.

Holds are significant in some areas.

“Fear Your Schnauzers”

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

For some reason, the executive producer of the CBS series based on James Patterson’s Zoo, thinks the statement “We really want the whole world to fear their schnauzers,” is a good promo line.

That quote became the headline for Variety ‘s report on a press event to promote the series. The Hollywood Reporter chose to use a quote from master marketer Patterson instead, who said, “People always say the book is always better than the movie, In this case, I think the series is going to be better than the book.”

The actual tag line for the series is “Animals once ruled the Earth. What if they decided to take it back?”

The 13-episode series premieres on CBS at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30.


James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge
Hachette/Grand Central, May 26, 2015
Trade Paperback, $15.00 USD, $17.00 CAD
Mass Market, $8.00 USD, $9.00 CAD


ALIENIST To Become TNT Series

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

9780812976144After several attempts to adapt it as a movie, Caleb Carr’s best selling 1994 psychological thriller set in gilded age era New York, The Alienist is now headed to the small screen, as an 8-part series for TNT with Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) attached to direct.

Deadline reports this is part of a shift in the focus for the network towards  “edgier original programming.”

The series still has to be cast and filmed, so it will be at least a year until it comes to fruition, depending on Fukunaga’s schedule. He just completed work on Beasts of No Nation, based on the novel by Uzodinma Iweala, for Netflix and is gearing up for an adaptation of Stephen King’s IT. Variety reports that Will Poulter is currently in negotiations to play the demonic clown Pennywise.