5 Things Every Thriller Novel Should Have by CB Samet

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. CB Samet will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

5 Things Every Thriller Novel Should Have

1) Early action. Novels need to reel you into the story within the first few pages. In thriller novels, this is done by leading with action. In Gray Horizon’s first chapter, you see Lillian Whyte intervene when a gunman is in her emergency room (I’m not giving anything away that isn’t already free … you can download the first chapter free HERE). You immediately know this is a woman with wit and self-defense skills. You then want to know how in the world she gets caught up in a nuclear threat.

2) A high-stakes story. Something the protagonist fears is happening or will happen if he or she doesn’t intervene. The catastrophe may be personal, limited to the protagonist’s sphere of influence, or extend globally. In Gray Horizon, Lillian Whyte learns of a stolen nuclear weapon at the same time she realizes she may be one of the few people in a position to stop it. The suspense is palpable.

3) Multiple character views. Dan Brown, Tom Clancy, James Patterson and many more enable you to see the story unfold through multiple characters. This is a great way to build the intensity, especially when you can feel the antagonist through his/her point of view. Gray Horizon is told through the perspective of several different protagonists and antagonists. You’re able to see the global unfolding of events even when the individual characters can’t. You also feel the emotions—fear, frustration, loathing, defeat, resilience—of the character you experience in each scene.

4) A believable antagonist. We all know good versus evil isn’t black and white. While we want ‘good’ to win, we want to understand what is driving the antagonist to commit the atrocities he or she is committing. Are they acting out of greed, jealously, fear of inferiority, rage, or a god-complex? We all have our weaknesses, but what made them cross the line beyond the point of redemption? Gray Horizon has several antagonists, though my favorite is a merciless Korean assassin decommissioned and disavowed by her own country.

5) Humor. Wait? What? We are talking about thriller novel, right? Yes. We need a little intermittent comic relief amongst the nail-biting suspense. In the words of Joss Whedon: “Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.” In Gray Horizon, Lillian Whyte’s brother, Jonathan, and retired CIA officer Jack McCumsey throw humor into the mix throughout the novel.

Sworn enemies. A stolen nuclear weapon. And the clock’s ticking.

When Dr. Lillian Whyte learns a nuclear weapon is on the loose in Europe, she collides with a ruthless mercenary from her past. Isolated from her husband, a former CIA operative, Lillian tries to covertly help track the weapon. As she he joins the race to stop the bomb, she is drawn into a deadly game of chase. Despite her efforts, those intent on global catastrophe remain one step ahead of her.

As Lillian faces the fears of her past and deadliness of the present, can she secure the future of the world?

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Dr. Whyte,” a guttural voice greeted her.

Her blood turned frigid and her stomach lurched as her heart thudded against her ribcage. As long as she lived, she would never forget that deep German accent—the voice of one of her captors nine years ago in Kenya.

The one that got away.

She was fairly certain Ivan Kleist would have only one reason for tracking her down: revenge.

Springing from the bench seat, she lashed a leg out into his gut. She saw a brief look of surprise on his pale face before she took off in a sprint.

Why now? Nine years he had waited.

The calculating killer had waited until she was out of the United States and away from Sean to corner her. She dashed in the direction of her hotel. Would she be safe in the lobby? In her room?

She slung her purse over her shoulder. Her phone was in the outer pocket, but she would have to slow down to make a call. Not happening. She would not slow until she reached the hotel.

Could she beat him to the hotel? His legs were longer, but she was ten years younger. But he probably hadn’t already logged twenty-six thousand steps for the day, as she had.

From her peripheral vision, Lillian saw an enormous object barreling toward her like a freight train. She barely had time to brace herself before Ivan plowed into her. She felt like she had been tackled by a linebacker. His large arms encircled her as she sailed to the ground. They rolled through the grass, her body encased by his.

He was so large he could probably crush the life out of her with his arms. She gasped for air. He wasn’t crushing her, but his grip was immobilizing.

Grunting, he hauled her to her feet. “Settle down, hase. Little white rabbit.”

Lillian, still dazed and sucking wind after her sprint, hardly put up a fight as he dragged her into an alley. Looking around frantically, her eyes couldn’t focus long enough to see anyone within shouting distance. She clawed at his large hand blocking her mouth from screaming.

About the Author: Christina is a practicing physician, mother of two boys and a terrier, and wife to a caring and supportive husband.

“I grew up reading Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton, and the Bourne books. I write seeking to create that level of action and intrigue but with female heroines. I love the quote, ‘She needed a hero. So she became one.’ My novels have empowered women overcoming powerful obstacles and the strong men who support them.”

Website | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads | Facebook

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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  1. James Robert says

    Great post and I appreciate getting to find out about another great book. Thanks for all you do and for the hard work you put into this. Greatly appreciated!

  2. Thanks for hosting!

  3. favorite cookie?

  4. I have enjoyed the tour. Sounds like a good read.

  5. Thanks for hosting!
    –cb samet

  6. Linda Romer says

    Looking forward to reading Gray Horizon! Thank you

  7. Sounds like my kind of book and I can’t wait to check it out. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. Thanks for sharing!

  9. bernie wallace says

    How many drafts did your book go through before publication?

  10. bernie wallace says

    Did you help design the cover? I hope your book is a success.

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