Sunday, May 19, 2019

Seven thrillers to make you wonder if your best friend is a murderer

S. R. Masters is originally from the West Midlands in the UK. His debut novel is a coming-of-age murder mystery, The Killer You Know, about a group of childhood friends returning home for a reunion only to discover the friend that joked about being a serial killer when he grew up might actually have become one.

At CrimeReads Masters tagged seven thrillers that capture some of the darker aspects of tight-knit friendship groups. One title on the list:
It, by Stephen King

King’s “final exam on horror” finds a group of friends returning home to fight their literal and figurative childhood monsters. It’s a book I read every few years and always find new things to admire. That is partly due to the dual timeline, which give the book the uncanny knack of managing to speak to you no matter what age you read it. It is also due to one of the central characters being the town itself, which allows for lots of small but incredibly well fleshed-out subplots about the supporting cast. Plenty has been written elsewhere about this book, but two lesser known and sinister parts don’t involve a shape-shifting clown at all, and are really self-contained murder mysteries. One features the death of young Dorsey Corcoran, and the other involves Bowers Gang member Patrick Hockstetter. I don’t want to spoil anything, but this sort of detail is why the novel endures, and shows early flexing of the crime-writing muscles King would later develop in books like Joyland and The Outsider.
Read about the other entries on the list.

It is among Jeff Somers's ten top SFF stories lousy with giant spiders.

--Marshal Zeringue