Imagine driving down a dark road in the middle of nowhere. All around you are trees and
undergrowth that prevent a clear view of the side of the road. All of a sudden you have to jerk the steering wheel to the right because a sudden sharp curve appears, your speed is too fast and you almost lose control of the vehicle. As soon as you are in control another huge winding curve appears. No signs on the road indicates that these sharp curves are coming up. You slow down for your own safety. Maybe you begin to pray. Your heart is beating faster as you grip the steering wheel with both hands. You are on the edge of your seat. Suddenly a huge figure emerges from the left, coming across the road in front of you. You slam on the brakes!
The best thriller novels are just like that dark road in the middle of nowhere with all the sharp curves and obscured views of the roadside. They heighten your senses and put you on alert. If you want to make it through to the end, you have to be ready for anything.
Consider the novel “Fight Club” by Chuck Palahniuk. In this novel two guys meet and decide that life is more fun fighting at night with bare hands. Not each other. Other guys. And the first rule of fight club is that you don’t talk about fight club. There’s a big surprise waiting for the reader at the end of this novel. A twist made this novel such a success that a screenplay was adapted by the same name and the movie’s star was none other than Brad Pitt. “Fight Club” has wonderful twists.
“A Moving Screen” also has a twist. One that no one is expecting. One has to read the book to find it. Just like that dark road with trees and undergrowth on both sides to obscure the view, “A Moving Screen” throws a curve just when the reader feels he or she has it all under control.
All the best thriller novels have twists and are full of the unexpected.