The Suspenseful Style of Stephen King: A Surprising Twist in Mystery Novels

The Suspenseful Style of Stephen King: A Surprising Twist in Mystery Novels

A Preference for Suspense over Intricate Whodunits

Stephen King, the world-renowned author of horror fiction, is currently on a promotional tour for his latest novel titled “Holly”. The book is a thrilling tale that brings back one of his most beloved characters from his earlier novel “Mr. Mercedes”. “Holly” tells the story of a mass murderer who drives a Mercedes-Benz through a crowd at a job fair, leaving death and destruction in his wake. During an interview on The Book Review Podcast, King shared his unique approach to crafting mysteries, highlighting his preference for the suspenseful style of Alfred Hitchcock over the intricate whodunits often associated with Agatha Christie. In his own words, King explained how he creates a sense of intrigue and tension in his writing, keeping his readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.

I think it helps to have written books that are like ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley.’ I loved everything Patricia Highsmith did, and there was never a question of who did what in those books. With an Agatha Christie book, I don’t understand how Agatha Christie did what she did. I love the books. I was gobsmacked by the end of ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.’ I was gobsmacked by the end of ‘And Then There Were None,’ Also, what’s the one where everybody on the train did it… ‘Murder on the Orient Express!’ Fantastic idea, but I could never do that. But if you start with you know what’s going to happen, or you know who the bad person is… who’s the doer, to me, I’m not interested in the mystery so much as the suspense element of the story.

A Homage to Alfred Hitchcock

Stephen King’s candid revelation shows his profound respect for Agatha Christie’s work, which has seen numerous film adaptations, including Kenneth Branaugh’s A Haunting in Venice, which heads to theaters just in time for Halloween. However, King’s true passion lies in crafting suspenseful scenarios rather than weaving complex plots. In a homage to the cinematic master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, King drew a parallel between his narrative style and Hitchcock’s famous quote:

Alfred Hitchcock said, ‘If a bomb explodes where people are having a meeting, you have five seconds of horror. But, if you know the bomb is under the table and they don’t, then you have ten minutes of suspense.’ Hopefully, excruciating expense. And he was the master of that. I like that kind of story. But I will say that with ‘Holly,’ there were plot elements involved with that that drove me absolutely crazy, and I’m working on a novel now called ‘We Think Not’ that features Holly Gibney, not probably in a starring role, but she’s very much an important character, and that novel is so plotted that I just want to scream. I like situations, okay? I don’t necessarily like plot, and they’re very different.

Inspiring Readers with Suspense

The author’s writing style revolves around keeping the readers engaged and anticipating the unknown threats that the characters may face. This approach resonates with Alfred Hitchcock’s philosophy of gradually building tension and making the audience an active participant in the story’s unfolding drama.

The author’s perspective on his future mystery novels has been revealed and it offers a fresh outlook. His upcoming work, We Think Not, will again feature Holly Gibney, the beloved character, albeit in a slightly less prominent role. Although the author may not be a fan of plot-heavy mysteries, readers can look forward to experiencing gripping and suspenseful tales that will keep them hooked from the first page to the last.

Continuing to Thrill and Captivate

As Stephen King turns 75, fans are eagerly anticipating the release of “We Think Not” and his other upcoming movies. It’s evident that the master of horror still has plenty of thrilling surprises up his sleeve, captivating his loyal readers and keeping them on the edge of their seats for years to come. For those looking to enjoy some of King’s finest films on the big screen, John Carpenter’s “Christine” will be returning to theaters this month. If you’re in the mood for more spine-tingling experiences at the cinema, our schedule of upcoming horror movies can help you plan your next suspenseful and thrilling trip. Also, King’s latest novel, “Holly,” is now available.

Related Stories

Leave a Reply