Deception is the art of trickery. The skill of pretense. Slyness. Deviousness. None of these words are positive. Deception is the most grievous to the person or persons who are its object. As human beings we rely on the truth, until we read a work of fiction. In the most popular book in print it is written: The truth shall make you free. And yet, when we read a good novel, it is deception that will keep us turning the pages. The power of deception is that when it’s done correctly, no one sees it coming until it’s too late. And we like that as readers. A fiction novel is based on imagination, we understand. But a fiction novel that is based on truth could be boring. We need that character who goes one way when we expect him or her to go another. And the character who deceives himself is always a winner.
The novel “Gone Girl” is a master work of deception. The reader begins the novel and is led to believe one thing. As the story continues, everything believed at first is suddenly challenged. To top it off the reader learns that the main character is a clever master of deceit. This leads to the conclusion that such a character can never and should never be trusted. Ironically, it’s impossible to put the book down. With so much deception and only a tad of truth, “Gone Girl” was so popular that it was made into a film by the same name. This story should make every person think twice about infidelity.
The novel “A Moving Screen” is also a master work of deception. The reader turns the page trying to figure out who exactly is Michael. He is hiding in plain sight and getting away with one murder after the other. Rarely do we meet a murderer in a novel and still not know him or her when we encounter them in other parts of the story. So it is with Michael. The deception is a vital part of the story. But that’s what makes a good thriller a best thriller. The effective use of deception. Truth means nothing to a reader who is turning page after page to reach a climax in the story. Readers cheer when they are deceived.
Deception trumps truth in all the best thriller novels.