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From Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms


Thrillers (Fiction)


  • Fiction in which the reader is kept on tenterhooks by plots that feature a build-up of suspense, tension, uncertainty, menace, and anxiety.
  • URI(s)

  • Instance Of

  • Scheme Membership(s)

  • Collection Membership(s)

  • Form

    • Thrillers (Fiction)
  • Variants

    • us: Suspense fiction
    • us: Thriller fiction
  • Broader Terms

  • Sources

    • found: Saricks, J.G. Readers' advisory to genre fiction, 2009: p. 71 (the thriller genre focuses on a particular profession--espionage, medicine, or the law, for example--and tells an action-packed story that reveals the intricacies of that profession and the potential dangers faced by those involved in it) p.72 (distinguishing feature in a thriller is the frame of the story, the details of the profession, and the way in which the hero uses his skill and knowledge within that profession to extricate himself from a dangerous situation) p. 73 (characteristics of thrillers: rapid pace; extensive details and technical language related to each profession; often a political focus with either national or international ramifications and hot topics from the news are frequently explored here) pp. 82-83 (key thriller authors: David Baldacci; Tess Gerritsen; Lisa Scottoline; Daniel Silva; John Grisham; Robin Cook; Michael Crichton)
    • found: Herald, D. Genreflecting, 2006: p.141 (Legal thrillers are crime stories featuring a lawyer, law student, or judge as the main character. Although they include some detective work, typically these courtroom dramas involve the ingenuity of the attorney in extricating himself or herself from a setup or significant legal troubles threatening his or her law firm and personal integrity.) p. 170 (The legal thriller achieved great prominence in the 1990s. Scott Turow, John Grisham, and Steve Martini all made it to the bestseller lists with their crime novels that feature lawyers. However, the legal thriller's emphasis is not necessarily on detection but rather the crafty attorney's abilities to extricate himself, herself, or others from danger.)
  • General Notes

    • Fiction in which the reader is kept on tenterhooks by plots that feature a build-up of suspense, tension, uncertainty, menace, and anxiety.
  • Change Notes

    • 2014-12-01: new
    • 2015-12-22: revised
  • Alternate Formats

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