What’s the Difference between Mystery and Thriller?

If you are reading a novel, it is important to know your genre. But before you start calling your novel a mystery or a thriller with suspense elements, you must know what separates these two genres.

A mystery, by definition, is something that defies our common understanding of the world. In mysteries, there are mysteries – things you do not know until the end.

In a thriller, for example, you may know who the killer is from the very first page of the book, but you’re captivated by the chase — and the action must be punctuated at key moments. In a mystery, however, you may not know who the murderer is until the very end.

Mystery Novels

In mystery novels, a crime is committed—almost always murder—and the plot revolves around figuring out who did it and why, as well as obtaining some form of justice.

The best mystery stories frequently explore man’s unique capacity for deception—especially self-deception—and show humble respect for human understanding’s limits. This is generally considered the most cerebral and least violent of suspense genres.

Following are the basic plot elements of mystery:

  • The hidden killer
  • The baffling crime
  • The singularly motivated investigator
  • The cover-up (often more important than the crime itself, as it’s the cover-up that conceals the killer)
  • Suspect identification and elimination (with the creation of false suspects frequently being part of the killer’s plan)
  • Evaluation of clues (sifting the true from the untrue)
  • Identification and apprehension of the killer

Thriller Novels

While mystery stories are the most cerebral of the suspense genres, thrillers are usually the most emotional, focusing on the hero’s doubt, fear, and dread as he faces “terrible trouble,” as Dean Koontz puts it.

This subgenre is a mix of mystery and horror. Thriller, however, shares a literary lineage with myth and epic – terror, monsters, and danger prevails. Thematically, thrillers focus on the unsafe world we live in, the inherent threat of the unknown, and the vulnerability of the average person.

The plot of thriller novels often proceeds along these lines:

  • A heinous crime is about to be committed or has already been committed, with the threat of an even more heinous crime lurking around the corner.
  • The perpetrator is identified, but his guilt is unknown—or the hero refuses to accept the truth of his guilt. This uncertainty heightens the tension.
  • As the hero attempts to prove the perpetrator’s guilt and/or prevent the next atrocity, he is constantly attacked. It’s worth noting how this differs from the mystery genre, where the villain usually remains hidden. That villain can be anyone – a terrorist, a diabolical genius, or an ordinary person with an oversized grudge and a unique capacity for damage.

Conclusion:

After a thorough read of this blog, you will completely understand the difference between mystery and thriller novels. Meanwhile, why don’t you check out some of the killer books by Brian T. Seifrit, a fourteen-time published author? “Absolute Anger”, “Return to Red Rock”, “Bloodlines”, “Escape”, “Red Rock Canyon” and “The Coalition of Purgatory” are some of his books that every thriller and mystery lover should read.

What Is the Difference between a Thriller and a Psychological Thriller?

Let’s find out the difference between a thriller and a psychological thriller.

Thrillers are books that begin to excite readers early in the plot and continue to do so until the climax. They keep readers confused with plot twists or red herrings, and keep them engaged with cliffhangers at the end of chapters. The goal is to keep the reader enthralled, rendering the book unputdownable.

Due to this addictive quality, thrillers are often bestsellers. Thrillers are frequently based on a crime, although this is not a prerequisite. A psychological thriller, on the other hand, is one of the 4 popular thriller subgenres. As the name implies, a psychological thriller is about the complicated emotional state of one or more characters, usually the narrator or antagonist.

The narrator is paranoid or psychotic at times, and at other times, the narrator is the book’s criminal, giving readers insight into a criminal’s disturbed mind. Sometimes psychological thrillers center around the hunt for a criminal who has a psychological problem and needs to be apprehended by understanding how his mind functions.

Elements of a Thriller Novel

Tension and suspense are hallmarks of the thriller genre in general. As the story progresses, this tension will keep readers on the edge of their seats. A thriller novel focuses on suspense, dread, and the fear of a potential crime rather than one that has already occurred. Most thrillers start with a crime and then ask the protagonists to work backwards to find out who did it.

In a thriller, the bad guy is always introduced early on, and the protagonists must work together to prevent them from committing evil acts. Examples of high-stakes thriller novels include Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series and R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series for young adults.

Elements of a Psychological Thriller Novel

Unreliable narrators are common in psychological thriller novel, and the ‘thrill’ comes from the fear or paranoia the narrator instils in the reader. The books also offer insights into minds that work differently from the readers’ – the reason why they are often fascinating, difficult to foresee, or morbidly interesting to readers.

In a psychological thriller novel, madness and fear are used to generate terror. Robert Bloch’s Psycho, made popular by Alfred Hitchcock’s film adaptation, is a tale of mental illness rather than monsters, though it does include several graphic scenes.

In a psychological thriller, characters rarely rely on their physical strength to overcome their enemies, but rather on their mental resources. Often the enemies are not external (other circumstances or characters) but internal (insanity, phobias, feelings, urges, and fears).

Even when the enemies are other characters, the conflicts are typically resolved by mind games, deceit, and manipulation, or even long-term efforts to destroy each other’s mental equilibrium, rather than the normal violent action seen in classic thrillers.

Conclusion:-

Whether it’s a thriller or a psychological thriller, suspense and tension take the central stage. A thorough read of this blog should be enough to help you differentiate between a typical thriller and a psychological thriller book.

Meanwhile, why don’t you check out some of the popular books by Brian T. Seifrit, a fourteen-time published author, that will take you into a world of suspense, confusion, and the depths of the human mind?

The Red Rock Series at a Glance.

Foreword- Red Rock Canyon

red rock canyon

It all started in the summer of 1890. Tyrell Sloan being the only living heir to his grandfather’s estate in Red Rock Canyon, began his journey. Meeting up with Wilson Wesley an old trapper from his grandfather’s past. Tyrell and Wilson’s friendship grows. After meeting up with Wilson, and hearing a few untold stories about his Grandfather, Tyrell continues on his way to Red Rock Canyon. Meeting up next by coincidence, he introduces himself to Fry, an old prospector also known by his deceased Grandfather. The more Tyrell learns about his Grandfather, the greater his desire to make Red Rock Canyon his home.

Discovering that three of the riches gold claims in all of Kootenay west lay on his land, the Sloan one, two, and three, Tyrell gives his best efforts in working the three claims, but soon learns that panning gold isn’t something he could see himself doing for the rest of his life. A mystery unfolds when he finds on a map where a hidden chest of gold that his Grandfather stowed away could be found.

In September of that year he leaves behind Red Rock and like a summer breeze, Tyrell slips into history, but not without reason.

Foreword-The Missing Years- Part I

Weeks of tormented dreams about how his Grandfather died- leads Tyrell to the town of Willow Gate, west of his hometown of Hells Bottom. There he meets up with the two villainous men of his dreams, Heath Roy and Ollie Johnson while playing cards in local saloon. It is in Willow Gate where a new chapter in Tyrell Sloan’s life begins. Killing the two men in a fair gun-fight, he is soon pursued by the local law corrupted by Heath Roy’s father, a rich and shrewd businessman, Gabe Roy. Gabe wants to see Tyrell hang and he will do anything and pay any price to see to it.

Heading north and into his hometown of Hells Bottom, Tyrell runs across Ed McCoy a bounty hunter, out of Fort Macleod who had just turned in a cattle rustler. Tyrell introduces himself as Travis Sweet. Ed noting that Tyrell was unprepared to be travelling through the unforgiving Rocky Mountains, offer’s Tyrell a meal, which he accepts. Their friendship is secured when Tyrell offers Ed, the use of his packing horse after Ed’s horse breaks his leg and Ed is forced to shoot him. In turn Ed offers Tyrell a job if he is ever in need. Parting ways, Tyrell continues north while Ed heads back to Fort Macleod.

Following close behind Tyrell, is Riley Scott another bounty hunter known to be one of the best. Hired by Gabe Roy to track down the killer of his son, Heath. Tyrell though out wits Riley and manages to escape.

Foreword-Missing Years Part II

On May 30 1891, Tyrell leaves behind Mac and Rose, the work he had been hired to do now completed. He once more heads north, deciding as he travelled that he would head into Fort Macleod to retrieve the horse he had lent to Ed McCoy and perhaps if the offer still stood, he’d take Ed up on his offer of employment. During his travels he comes across a bulletin board with a wanted poster pinned to it, the poster read: Tyrell- last name unknown. Wanted for killing Heath Roy, Ollie Johnson, Eli Ferguson and Noble Bathgate. A $2500 reward is offered by the Mounted Police for his capture or information leading to his arrest. The sketch on the poster didn’t look at all like the man he saw when he looked into a mirror, and he gave silent thanks to Emma as he continued onward.

Days came and days went as he travelled the Chase Wagon Road heading northerly, under the assumed name of Travis Sweet. He meets up with an old fellow who only introduced himself as Nick, Tyrell shared a meal with him noting Nick’s lack of provisions. There was more he would learn about Nick, for now though, Nick to him was a simple traveler.

On June 13, 1891 Tyrell finally makes the distance to Fort Macleod. Finding the McCoy’s office he tethers his horse and meets up with Ed inside. The two men are reacquainted and Tyrell brings up the question of employment. Ed, a man of his word hires Tyrell on the spot.

With the Bounty Hunter oath out of the way and new credentials baring the name Travis Sweet, Tyrell Sloan takes on the roll of bounty hunter with all the good and bad that comes with it.

Foreword-The Missing Years III

August 27, Thursday 1891. The court appearances for B. Atalmore and the three men that rode with him were underway. The men from McCoy’s Bounty Hunting Service, Ed McCoy, Brady McCoy, Riley Scott, Tanner McBride, and Tyrell sat in the audience watching the proceedings. They weren’t the only ones in the audience; Matt Crawford sat behind them unbeknownst to either of McCoy’s men. Dressed in a cheap suite and hat he sat quietly as he listens to the sentencing of the men he once rode with.

The youngest rider of the Rebel Rangers under command of B. Atalmore, Colby Christian gets sentenced to the holding cells at Fort Macleod and is subjugated to 20 days of community service. The other members of the Rebel Rangers, Barclay Atalmore, Allan Webber and Spence Hamilton are all sentenced to six months in provincial prison, for their role in obtaining information regarding Matt Crawford under the guise of Federal Marshals.

Colby Christian begins his community service and helps Riley Scott dig a well on Riley’ recently purchased land. He works side by side with Colby and a friendship develops. Riley takes Colby under his wing he believes that Colby has simply been misguided.

 

Ten Best Psychological Thriller Books of All Time

When it comes to shopping for bestselling suspense novels, we often think of legends like Agatha Christie and Stephen Kings. However, they’re not the only ones capable of taking the art of weaving thriller-themed fiction to the next level.

Any discussion on the ten best psychological thriller books of all time is incomplete without mentioning the works of Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and several others.

In this blog, we’ll provide you with a broad overview of the ten best psychological thriller books of all time.

Ten Best Psychological Thriller Books of All Time

There’s seldom a thing that can keep you more captivated than psychological thrillers. Here’s a curated list of the best psychological thriller books of all time in alphabetical order.

1. A Bloodstained Hammer, Brian T. Seifrit

The fiction is based on the infamous Townsend killings that took place in British Columbia in the late 1950s. Noted Canadian author Brian T. Seifrit has narrated the emotions of the killer and his victims in A Bloodstained Hammer in the most prolific manner.

2. Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty

Set in the coastal Monterey town, it’s an intriguing thriller about 5 housewives discovering the undertones of domestic abuse running in their Instagram-perfect lives. Considering Moriarty’s natural expertise for compelling prose and believable character sketching, it’s a must-read for all suspense-loving bibliophiles. You should seriously consider including Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty in the list of best psychological thriller books of all time.

3. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn is synonymous with suspense novels that proudly boast of twisting, intensely dark narratives pivoted on seemingly cruel, complex female characters. Gone Girl is an engrossing story about the courtship of Amy and Nick, their failing marriage, and the former’s eventual disappearance.

4. The Couple Next Door, Shari Lapena

Anne and Marco Conti decide attending a dinner party as a babysitter comes to their rescue just before the social gathering is scheduled to begin. In spite of checking on their baby every thirty minutes, when the new parents returned home, the babysitter is gone. However, people start to suspect the couple as they’re both found to be guarding a chest of secrets.

5. The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins occupied the New York Times list of bestsellers for consecutive thirteen weeks. The story is narrated from a first-person perspective and centered on three women. The gradual uncoiling of shocking incidents along with intense suspense build-up makes it to the list of best psychological thriller books of all time.

6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson

Journalist Mikael Blomkvist teams up with a hacker named Lisbeth Slander for investigating a 40-year-old mystery. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson revolves around the strange disappearance of Harriet Vanger, a wealthy Swedish teenager.

7. The Shining, Stephen King

Jack Torrance is your next-door individual who becomes the caretaker of a pompous but unsettling Overlook Hotel. Things get increasingly terrorizing and morbid once the resting place comes to life and transforms into a hellish nightmare. The Shining by Stephen King certainly deserves to be on the list of best psychological thriller books of all time.

8. The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith

Patricia Highsmith is the undisputed master of how to craft macabre settings in psychological thrillers. The Talented Mr. Ripley is the first of a five-part novel series where she creates a character that’s both unnervingly empathetic and without a conscience. Admittedly, not just this volume but the entire series is worth including in the list of best psychological thriller books of all time.

9. The Widow, Fiona Barton

Crumbling marriages tend to be an ideal element in psychological thrillers and The Widow by Fiona Barton is no exception. It’s a fascinating story about the secrets of a woman named Jean and the lies she’s made herself believe.

10. Those Bones Are Not My Child, Toni Cade Bambara

This spine-chilling suspense thriller is based on the infamous Atlanta child murders that shook the entire USA in the late 1970s to the early ’80s. Published posthumously, Those Bones Are Not My Child is a gory tale of a terror-stricken mother and her teenage son who went missing one day.

So, this was a brief introduction to the best psychological thriller books of all time. If you believe that we’ve missed something, let us know by commenting below.

5 Major Elements of Popular Mystery Stories

Mystery continues to remain one of the most popular genres for the global reading community across centuries. Fictions like The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841) by Edgar Allan Poe occupy the top positions among best murder mystery books of all time. All bestselling mystery books are ingrained with elements of popular mystery stories specific literary components for the gradual suspense build-up leading to the grand climax.

In this blog, we’ll briefly discuss 5 core attributes of popular mystery stories.

Five Key Elements of Popular Mystery Stories

5 major elements of mystery fiction help keep the course of the story on track while gradually intensifying the tension. These factors allow the reader to connect the missing dots so that the solution of the particular mystery can be revealed in a logical manner.

Now let’s understand each of these 5 elements in detail.

  • A Strong Hook

Great mystery stories must begin with a grand opening for piquing the reader’s interest and should encourage them to find a solution to the crime. Particularly the best murder mystery books mustn’t start with more information than required about the crime, allowing the intrigue to condense from the opening sentence. The introductory chapter should evoke the mystery in the reader’s mind and help identify the pivotal character for solving the fictional crime.

  • An Atmospheric Setting and the Crime

Best murder mystery books and other mystery stories must be able to build an unnerving, ominous ambiance through the backdrop. Being grappled with anxiety about an unknown antagonist hiding behind the shadows is the defining characteristic of every bestselling mystery novel.

For instance, think of Sherlock Holmes sidling up to the murderer through the dense London fog. Mystery settings also accommodate opportunities for embedding red herrings and clues in the story.

Crime in mystery fiction refers to a certain event that’s integral in constructing the plot. It generally occurs in the introductory chapter of the novel, fueling the central conflict and opening up the scope of an investigation. The protagonist or the sleuth is also introduced to the readers while spurring the mystery narrative after the crime onset.

  • A Sleuth or a Protagonist and a Perpetrator or an Antagonist

Not only the best murder mystery books, but all mystery fiction must have a main character for solving the crime. From Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes to Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, there’s simply no dearth of detectives in mystery literature.

A novelist can choose to make the sleuth personally invested in finding a solution to the crime and raise the stakes accordingly. Mystery stories are always pivoted on the protagonist, an average individual who also doubles up as an amateur investigator for solving the case.

It’s imperative for every mystery fiction writer to ensure the character build-up of the protagonist or the detective in the most comprehensive manner. The central character requires a background story so that the reader can logically connect him or her to the killer or the crime itself.

A motive is also needed to elucidate why solving that particular crime is paramount for the protagonist. Mystery novels are known as whodunits as the identity of the antagonist isn’t revealed until the character is brought to the law at the climax. It’s the villainous activities that help steer the story and as it reaches the end, the reader and the protagonist reveal the perpetrator in unison.

  • Narrative Momentum Build-Up and the Clue Trail

The ongoing hide-and-seek narrative is essential to best murder mystery books and other mystery novels. The pacing of mystery fiction depends on how fast its storyline reaches the climax and how quickly the focal character solves the crime.

Clues in mystery books help the reader engage more when compared to other kinds of fiction. The reader puts on the hat of an amateur investigator, follows the clue trail, and tries to find out the villain.

  • Foreshadowing and Red Herrings Succeeded by a Satisfactory Climax

Best murder mystery books and other mystery novels often provide cues about forthcoming events and this literary technique is called foreshadowing.

Novelists can leverage either a character dialog or a small cue for foreshadowing. They can be less or more direct in their approach, either implicating an upcoming incident or being explicit and stating what’s about to happen.

The significance of red herring elements in building up a great mystery fiction cannot be stressed enough. A good mystery story must be able to throw you off-track.

Dummy clues in mystery novels are essential in building the tensed atmosphere and creating other suspects in the process. These false clues distract the sleuth and also the reader, veering them away from the actual culprit.

Red herrings in mystery literature are usually created by overemphasizing any character or an event for catching the reader’s attention. For instance, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie speaks of ten fictional characters, all of whom appear to be potential suspects.

Christie chooses to introduce the red herrings by murdering each of them as the story proceeds. Thus, she incorporates twists in the plot to change the course of the reader’s mind to an entirely new direction for hunting down the killer.

The grand climax of all great mystery stories allows an opportunity for the investigator to reveal the perpetrator’s true identity. Every mystery fiction’s ending must also offer an alibi for all other suspects to eliminate doubt and accentuate the antagonist’s identity, solving the mystery equation.

So, this was a brief discussion on the key elements of top mystery fiction, including best murder mystery books of all time. If you believe that we’ve missed something, let us know by commenting below.

Ten Best Horror Books of All Time For Your Best Horror Experience

Historically, horror novels have been integral to literature, but it appears that horror as a genre is witnessing a medium-independent, renewed interested in consumers across the globe these days.

With 2021 proudly harbingering the two-hundredth and second birth anniversary of one of the ten best horror books, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, we’ve prepared a curated list of the greatest hair-raising tales.

The Very Best Horror Books of All-Time: 1818 – 2018

The meaning of horror differs from one individual to another. For some, it could be serial murderers, while for others, it might be haunted mansions and apparitions. What unifies all admirers of horror around the world is the steroidal dosage of breathtaking thrill that the horror literature provides to its readers.

Read: Why we love reading horror books

Here’s a brief introduction to the best horror books of all time in alphabetical order.

1. Absolute Anger, Brian T. Seifrit

Absolute Anger is a teen horror fiction by Brian T. Seifrit that centers on a sleuth named Tyler O’ Brien. The investigator and his associates have finally arrested the person accountable for a series of ghastly homicides and sent him for trial, which they thought to have ceased the killing spree. However, it was merely the preface of one of the ten best horror books !

2. At the Mountains of Madness, H.P. Lovecraft

Any discussion about contemporary horror is incomplete without referring to the literary work of H.P. Lovecraft. At the Mountains of Madness offers a generous backdrop to several of the mythologies introduced by the author and revolves around the terrifying tale of a scientific expedition that went disgustingly wrong after an off-course extraterrestrial species known as the Elder Things were discovered.

3. Dracula, Bram Stoker

It’s been more than a century since the first copy of this Gothic horror fiction was made into publication, but Count Dracula hasn’t lost a bit of his blood-curdling appeal. Being a tale of primal superstition versus modern technology, Victorian praxis versus almost wild sexuality, and many more extreme contradictions, the archetypical vampire story from Bram Stoker is a lot more than what it seems on the surface.

4. Penpal, Dathan Auerbach

Penpal by Dathan Auerbach is one of the best horror books of all time that harps on the notion that people are often preoccupied with the details they can see and fail to conjure up the bigger perspective. The episodic-format story commences with a young Auerbach sending a pen pal request on a balloon and continues to unfold as a series of mysterious and unfortunate events affecting him and all the people he’s familiar with.

5. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier is an epic tale of Gothic suspense offering an eclectic combination of obsession, romance, and of course, subtle horror. Admittedly, it’s a puzzling clockwork of narratives that keeps the reader hooked until the chilling finale.

6. Red Rock Canyon, Brian T. Seifrit

Red Rock Canyon by Brian T. Seifrit narrates an intriguing anecdote of a man named Tyrell Sloan, who becomes the sole owner of a dilapidated cabin by inheritance. During his travel through the famous Red Rock Canyon in the British Columbia Rocky Mountains, he comes across a number of enigmatic souls.

7. The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty revolves around a young girl and her single mother. Things started taking a nasty turn when the daughter became possessed. If you’ve watched the movie but didn’t get an opportunity to go through the original book, now’s a great time to start reading it.

8. The Shining, Stephen King

What happens when you put together an old ramshackle motel and a frustrated novelist along with a blinding blizzard that makes every guest stay inside?! One of the best horror books of all time featuring a triathlon of freaking twists and gripping tension, such as The Shining by Stephen King, which centers on a family battling to save their lives, yet not precisely sure of what or who they’re confronting.

9. White is for Witching, Helen Oyeyemi

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi tells the tale of a teenager named Miranda Silver, who’s plagued with an insatiable liking for non-edible articles, such as plastic and chalk. Inexplicable hauntings and cravings, packed with twins, sorcerous and intense, Oyeyemi does an excellent job of creating a cornucopia of harrowing horror.

10. World War Z, Max Brooks

Based on extensive verbal anecdotes of the Second World War, World War Z is an apocalyptical tale by Max Brooks that chronicles a dystopian future when the earth is on the verge of collapse caused by an incurable pandemic as an army of zombies rise to form the new world order.

So, this was a brief introduction to the ten best horror books. If you believe that we’ve missed something, let us know by commenting below.

A Broad Overview of the Horror Genre and Its Key Characteristics

When it comes to human emotions, admittedly, the most intense is the fear of mysterious and inexplicable phenomena.

As the human imagination can be truly limitless, a myriad array of archetypical characters, such as demons, apparitions, demi-gods, monsters, and mutants have been given life since the dawn of human civilization and were attributed to every incident that cannot be explained back then.

Based on those fictional entities and their unsurmountable prowess, an astoundingly diverse variety of legends and tales were crafted to date, no matter how much science and technology have progressed as of now.

Imagination and fear offer an impeccable foundation to three literary genres, namely, horror, science-fiction, and fantasy.

However, the scope of today’s blog is limited to a brief discussion of what defines horror as a genre among these three, along with a few of the most significant characteristics of the horror genre.

What Defines the Horror Genre?

Novelists and critics tend to differ on the definition of horror as a genre, having complementary and identical perspectives about the subject.

However, they all agree on how it can be described as a genre, which exploits fear as one of the primal human emotions for producing a sense of literary enjoyment in the readers.

Dominic Strinati, in his “An Introduction to Studying Popular Culture”, defined horror “as a genre that represents the need for suppression if the horror shown is interpreted as expressing uncomfortable and disturbing desires which need to be contained.”

J.A. Cuddon, the noted literary historian, chose to define horror fiction as something that shocks or even terrifies the reader or may instigate a feeling of abomination and abhorrence.

In the anthology of Prime Evil in 1982, acclaimed writer Douglas Winter referred to horror as emotion and had gone stating that horror genre literature is not something that deserves to be abandoned on a special shelf at bookshops and libraries.

Five Key Elements of the Horror Genre

Virtually all bestselling horror novels are centred on the following fictional elements.

1. Introduce Sinister or Malevolent activities, Incidents, and/or Characters

Perhaps, the perfect example of this would be Dracula by Bram Stoker in 1897, when he came up with the epic tale of beautiful, brooding malevolence that enthralled the community of bibliophiles worldwide.

2. Evoke an Intense Emotion of Disgust, Shock, and Fear with an Ominous Backdrop

There’s a burgeoning sense of the uncanny and that they’re different from their superficial appearance.

3. Intense Overtone

Fiction exploring the horror genre revolves around extreme emotion, tone, environments, as well as mood, and together, they yield an unsettling feeling of mysteriousness.

4. Founded on Shocking and/or Terrifying Plot Revelations and Twists in the Story

In sharp contrast to some typical episode of Scooby-Doo, where the evil guys generally turn out to be machinating realtors in the disguise of paranormal creatures, the ghosts and werewolves in horror literature are unmistakably life-like.

5. Provides Readers with an Encompassing Feeling of Grim and Gory

The horror genre thrives on macabre situations, from sickening and morbid circumstances of death to multiple iterations of unearthly violence.

Vampires breaking in, zombies marching and trying to induct you into their legion, or in less intense storylines, long-dead relations or friends are visiting unexpectedly.

Buy the Best Horror Books of All-Time by Brian T. Seifrit

Brian T. Seifrit is a noted Canadian author with over a dozen publications. Before discovering a true passion for creative writing and devoting his entire time in fiction writing, he worked for some time as a full-time columnist for the Trail Daily Times, a small community newspaper based in the village of Fruitvale, West Kootenay, British Columbia.

A few of the bestselling horror novels that he’d authored to date include Absolute Anger, A Blood-Stained Hammer, and Voracity – the K-15 Contagion.

Perhaps, an exceptional versatility in writing across multiple genres is the reason why his literary works are immensely appreciated among a vast majority of book readers in Canada and around the world.

You can explore the complete work of fiction by Brian T. Seifrit and even order them on the web simply by visiting his author page on Amazon.

What are the Two Types of Horror Stories? A Complete Guide

Horror is a type of fiction in literature that aims to set a backdrop of fear by instigating emotions of dread, terror, and repulsion in the readers’ minds. The very definition of horror highlights the psychological feeling caused by it.

With roots in history, folklore, and religion, centered on curiosities, fears, and subjects, horror has always been successful in evoking fear among the readers through language and imagery. Whether they’re supernatural or not, all types of horror stories thrive on the readers’ deepest fears by emphasizing the most perplexing and frightening things of life, such as evil, death, the afterlife, supernatural creatures or forces, and witchcraft. In this blog, we shall discuss the two types of horror stories in detail.

  • Supernatural Horror

Supernatural horror refers to fiction that’s primarily comprised of paranormal or supernatural elements for plot development, such as monsters, ghosts, aliens, demons, zombies, and witches.

In these types of horror stories, the key source of terror comes from the human reaction when confronting the unknown, often at the time of a critical conflict, such as a possession, a haunting, an omen or curse, an invasion, and the likes.

The origin of supernatural horror dates way back in the history of literature as the entire idea of demons, spirits, and ghosts is as old as the human civilization itself.

Note that the honor of being the first supernatural and also the first gothic horror novel ever on publication goes to The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole. These types of horror stories became extremely popular from the late 1960s to early 1970s.

  • Non-Supernatural Horror

Non-supernatural horror refers to a particular class of fiction that doesn’t rely on supernatural elements. The terror treatment offered by these types of horror stories stems from the notion that what’s being unfolded in the story could happen in real life as well. This includes the odds of someone dying, making it the most preferred and de facto style for frightening mystery or crime stories.

Psycho by Robert Bloch; The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris; Misery, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Carrie, Shining, etc. by Stephen King; Ring by Koji Suzuki; and We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson are some of the most notable examples of non-supernatural horror literature.

Buy the Best Horror Books of All-Time by Brian T. Seifrit

An alma mater of the prestigious Columbia Academy in British Columbia, Brian T. Seifrit is one of Canada’s most popular authors in recent times with an ever-growing fan base. Before becoming a full-time novelist, he used to write for a Fruitvale-based, small community newspaper.

Some of the best horror books of all-time authored by Brian are Voracity, A Blood-Stained Hammer, and Absolute Anger, the last one being made into a full-fledged entertainment movie. You can know more about his literary works and purchase them online by visiting the Amazon author page.

Guide to Psychological Thrillers and the Best Psychological Thriller Books of All-Time

The psychological thrillers is a subcategory of the thriller genre. Despite this, it does have quite a few defining attributes that make it different from other genres of this niche. This includes supernatural thrillers, medical thrillers, and spy thrillers. When discussing the best psychological thriller books of all-time, note that the terms psychological suspense and psychological thrillers are used pretty much interchangeably, because they both do an excellent job of narrating the mental states of the fictional characters.

The key difference between these two is that the former kind usually involves a horrific crime, such as a murder, along with the consequences that come after the gruesome incident. Nevertheless, as they both are nearly identical, we’ll settle for the terminology of psychological thriller in today’s discussion.

Psychological Thrillers Rely on Action, Drama, and Mystery

Not only the best psychological thriller books of all-time, but all kinds of psychological thriller stories typically highlight the delusional or unstable emotional and mental state of the characters, emphasizing the very unfathomable, unimaginable, and inexplicable human mind itself. The plot often unfolds from the perspective of those fictional characters that are psychologically stressed, gradually divulging the disoriented nature of their mental perceptions, and a waning sense of reality, or a feeling of losing control over things at times.

The best psychological thriller books of all-time often rely on elements of action, drama, and mystery. The characters may exhibit some psychological aberrance, such as anxiety, agoraphobia, paranoia, or multiple personality disorder. These stories centre on the emotional states of all the fictional actors, talking about their thoughts and perceptions, as well as potential distortions, delusions, and their incapability to comprehend reality as it truly is.

Psychological Thrillers Tinker With the Reader’s Mind

Psychological thriller novels tend to be particularly suspense-centric as they exploit uncertainty over characters’ integrity, motive, and how they witness their surroundings. The best psychological thriller books of all-time just don’t play with the fictional actors’ mental state, but also tinker with your (reader’s) mind at the same time.

Most common plot devices often involve storyline twists, unreliable narrators, first-person narrative, as well as citing references to the thought process (could be delusional sometimes) of the character through showcasing one’s stream of consciousness. The characters are often found engaged in a raging war with none other than their minds, trying hard to figure out what’s real and what’s not.

Psychological thriller stories have remained in circulation for an impressively long period. The first psychological thriller fiction happened to be short stories and novels written by Edgar Allan Poe in the early nineteenth century. Daphne du Maurier also published her epic novel Rebecca in 1938. Today, with the enviable popularity of contemporary psychological thrillers, such as The Girl on the Train, and Gone Girl, it’s only evident that if you’ve not yet read the best psychological thriller books of all-time, you’re surely missing something!

A few of the best psychological thriller books of all-time by Brian T. Seifrit are Bloodlines, Absolute Anger, and A Blood-Stained Hammer. You can learn more of his writings and also order them online from the Amazon author page.

 

Similarities Between Mystery and Suspense: An In-Depth Analysis

A vast majority of readers are often left wondering what are the most typical commonalities shared by mystery novels and suspense stories. Admittedly, it’s not an easy task, as the bestselling suspense-themed fictions are generally mysterious with hard-to-trace actors of crime and the best murder mystery books (or mystery as a genre for that matter) are unmistakably suspenseful. They both do an excellent job of creating conflict and dramatic tension. The purpose of today’s discussion is to help readers understand the common components of these two genres. Let’s begin by explaining and understanding the similarities between mystery and suspense.

What are the Key Similarities Between Mystery and Suspense?

Mystery: A mystery is analogous to a puzzle. A crime (generally a murder) has taken place, and the protagonist should find the assailant or the killer. Mystery novels are commonly known as whodunit as both the readers and the central characters do not know who might turn out to be the perpetrator/s of crime.

Suspense: The prime objective of suspense stories is to deliver a plot with an increased level of foreboding and tension. The readers anticipate something sinister in making as the plot thickens and are glued to a heightened level of uncertainty and anxiety from the very outset to the climax. It’s essentially an emotional roller-coaster ride where you too are exposed to the same set of perilous events and go through the same extent of despair just as the protagonist does.

1. Tension, Suspense, and Stakes for the Central Character

In general, the tension is more profound, and the pace happens to be faster in the best murder mystery books.

2. A Proactive Protagonist

The prime character should be engaged in various actions and mustn’t passively witness the series of events happening around the protagonist.

3. Character Development

The key character should’ve evolved, learned, and eventually transformed at the onset of the grand climax. This character development is what enables the protagonist to overcome the toughest challenges and excel at the dramatic end.

4. General Structural Elements that Contribute to the Storyline

A turning point or an inciting situation compels the main character to abandon their daily routine and become involved in the issue, complications, pace, conflict, an ominous moment when everything seems so lost and obscure, the final confrontation at the climax and denouement.

5. Putting All the Missing Blocks of the Jigsaw Puzzle to Where They Should be

The climax should resolve all open ends, though offer an appropriate anticlimactic treatment if relevant and eternal good must win over the evil. The main character should also become aware of something about him or her whilst the storyline ceases to an end.

6. Absence of Coincidences

Whilst it’s pretty much standard for many people to come across coincidences in their lives, they mustn’t be incorporated in fictional development. Note that coincidental circumstances don’t content the readers of suspense and mystery literature.

The Best Murder Mystery Books from Brian T. Seifrit

The Missing Years (quartet), Willow Gate Justice, Absolute Anger, and A Bloodstained Hammer are some of the best murder mystery books authored by Brian T. Seifrit. Visit his Amazon author page now to learn more about all his published work and purchase one or more of his bestsellers today!