Thrillers are characterized by suspense—a feeling of pleasurable fascination and excitement over what is to come next, mixed in with apprehension, anticipation, and sometimes even, fear. These feelings develop throughout a narrative from unpredictable events that make the reader or viewer think about the consequences of certain characters’ actions. The suspenseful feelings build towards a climax that is sure to be memorable.
With suspense and crime, with conspiracies and revenge, the thriller genre has been keeping audiences on their toes with tension and excitement for centuries.
In the rich literary banquet of the thriller genre, the reader can also choose from police, spy, romantic, historical, supernatural, political, erotic, and conspiracy thrillers. It’s a wildly popular genre overall.
People often confuse the mystery and thriller genres. While it’s true that they often overlap, there’s a distinct difference: A mystery follows an intellectual protagonist who puts together clues to solve a crime after it’s been committed, and a thriller details the prevention of a crime before it has been committed.