Hello, people of the internet!
The keywords in my title are “a lot” because I still do read crime thrillers now and again if the story is gripping enough. But there was a time when it was all that I read. It was my favourite genre for quite a while until I decided to stop reading as many.
So was it because of the thrillers themselves? Or was it because of me and my reading taste buds changing?
Some of my favourite books, or at least books that have stayed with me, are crime thrillers such as The Treatment by Mo Hayder and the DI Helen Grace series by M. J. Arlidge. When done right, they are unbelievable hard to put down because of their dark storylines and their even darker villains. In fact, dare I say the main reason why I’ve never be truly shocked by any fiction I read because I read it first in a crime thriller.
But that leads on to a problem I gained by reading too many crime thrillers: the shock value. Of course, I find the dark subject matters horrifying and murders to still be grisly, but whenever the book tries to shock me, I am never as shocked as I would have been if I hadn’t read so many crime thrillers previously. I end up thinking, “Oh God, that is sickening…But I read worse.” Personally, I don’t like that – it ruins the shock value and can sometimes end up being quite underwhelming despite the writing being top notch and perfect.
But the biggest problem I had when I read too many crime thrillers was the predictability. Crime thrillers in general are formulaic, which leads to clichés in plot and characters. A grisly murder? Check. A detective lead character with a dark past who is also distant from his/her family? Check. A loyal police partner? Check. A serial killer? Check. Bonus points if the serial killer has a connection with the lead character! Don’t get me wrong, it’s a formula that works and there are crime thrillers that don’t follow this formula and its clichés, but nonetheless, once you spot the formula and clichés, it’s hard to get into the story without seeing crime thriller tropes. As a reader who loves to be surprised and to read unpredictable storylines, it was a big problem for me, so I stopped reading as many.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s a problem for everyone else.
I have friends who tend to mostly read crime thrillers and they never get bored. They notice the tropes, but it doesn’t deter them from reading them. Even with its heavy use of crime thriller tropes, I haven’t stopped reading crime thrillers completely. I just read other genres more for variety. It’s just my personal reading preference. I think there isn’t anything wrong with only reading one genre; how everyone reads is different.
And besides, the crime thriller formula works! And when it does…those stories can be incredibly gritty and definitely not for the faint of heart!
So, I still have crime thrillers in my TBR, but I have a lot of other genres waiting to be read. I am not done with crime thrillers and, by heck, crime thrillers are certainly not done with me!
Do you agree with me? What do you think?
Thank you for reading!