Book hooks: The real thrill

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Just as suspense feeds the soul of an undying thrill lover, thriller books satisfy an adventuresome bookworm. In fact, the best thriller novels break the wheel that propels the rollercoaster of the fictional world as each page unravels new escapes that plunge us into the other side of the universe. While we embrace new worlds, may we set our hearts apace as we immerse in the spine-chilling dimensions of these all-time best thriller novels.



Before I Go to Sleep (2011)
Author: S.J. Watson
Rating: 4/5

Keyed by The New York Times as an “out-of-nowhere literary sensation,” author S.J. Watson made a breakthrough with his first novel Before I Go to Sleep. The novel, which was written only between the author’s work shifts, fueled its popularity through powerful enticement.

The story, centered on the main character Christine Lucas’ lost grip of reality, unveils interminable hoops of the battle with her personal hell—her own mind. Anterograde amnesia, a mental condition she suffers from, burdens her with the struggle and confusion of waking up every morning not knowing anything or anyone—not even herself.

The heroine’s game with her ruined nostalgia continues as she battles each day trying to mend her life, prompting her to keep a journal to track herself. However, in her process of recovering her memory, she discovers the unwanted secrets of the house she thought was home.

The thriller subtly holds the storyline only to expound slowly, then all at once, in the end. By the same token, the novel proceeds with a clever and tight hold of the plot—making the readers look forward to other Watson books for more of his incredible ingenuity.

Mind-tangling twists, love affairs, and truth-seeking battles capture readers in an endless embrace—an embrace that only this “out-of-nowhere literary sensation” can exemplify.



Defending Jacob (2012)
Author: William Landay
Rating: 4.5/5

Achieving a Strand Critics Award for Best Novel in 2012, Defending Jacob gives the shivers while simultaneously stirring hearts with the novel’s themes of legal thriller and drama.

Andy Barber, the main character, has been an assistant district attorney for more than two decades. Busy with their own businesses, he and his wife lose touch with their son. As ironic as a plot can get, Attorney Barber learns about a shocking crime and appallingly, discovers the alleged murderer—his fourteen-year-old son, Jacob.

The crisis ascends once Andy, a man of law, is in conflict with himself as a father. Everything unfolds in front of him as he searches for truth while dreading the revelation at the same time—for the love and fear of his child.  

Through the novel’s cleverness and paradoxes, the self-built and dignified prosecutor faces a trial of his own. However, the battle doesn’t cease but will eventually fall into a trickle—either of law or love.

All bets are off as the novel filters out the lies from the truth, as loyalty contradicts justice, and as mistakes trifle with fate.

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