Range of the genre
The range of this sub-genre of thriller novel is very wide, and the enjoyment one derives from a book depends on the extent to which the reader can suspend disbelief. Of course, if a reader believes in black magic, fairies and life after death, then these will not be supernatural, because the reader’s definition of natural must include such entities and concepts.
I’m not a believer in such things, but there are some supernatural thrillers which I think are terrific. These usually involve a clever writing device which doesn’t require me to suspend disbelief for the duration of the story, but trips me up right at the end. It’s a fantastic writing trick, common in many thriller genres, and for me, essential in the supernatural sub-genre because I have difficulty suspending disbelief.
There is one novel though, which I adore, and which does not use this device. It scared me when I read it first as a teenager – The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.
- The Haunting of Hill House
A review Haunting of Hill House – a classic of the supernatural sub-genre of thriller novels. This review was written decades after I read it, and it is still vivid in my mind. How the author manipulates one’s imagination and fear is a tour de force.
- Sixth Sense
Sixth Sense – a great example of supernatural thriller writing with the twist right at the end. It won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (as well as several other Oscars) and was not based on a book.