I recently read Joan Hall Hovey’s novel Chill Waters and it made me think of what it is about suspense novels that I like.
Why do I enjoy this stressful, sitting on the edge of my seat, my heart pumping with fear activity?
Ok. Chill Waters, to be fair, is not all suspense. There’s the intriguing plot, and interesting smart female protagonist. There’s romance as well. But there’s a murderer to discover which I find stimulating – like intellectual exercise for my brain. I want to figure out the ending of the novel before I read it. There’s a great satisfaction when that happens.
Also, suspense novels, in particular, deal with a sense of justice. Rationally, I know that good will prevail. That’s the way these novels work. Yet, on a visceral level the concern is not so much that good will prevail but how. And, it is in Chill Waters protagonist’s chilling situation that the thrill took over and I found my heart rate rising casting rationality aside. Joan Hall Hovey has the skill to play on the readers’ emotions with her Hitchcockian imagination.
I have to admit that I had not figured out the true identity of the murderer but that no longer mattered as I’d already taken the thrilling, satisfying ride.