At the London Book Fair last month it was clear that celebrity and misery memoirs have had their day. Publishers and agents would also like to see the end of ‘Grip Lit’ – psychological thrillers such as Apple Tree Yard. One agent was heard to say “We really needs to move on, but no one has come up with anything to replace it. We want something more positive, something more life affirming.”
I know that publishers and agents have to keep one step ahead, but apart from being popular, Grip Lit is very lucrative for them, both in UK sales and foreign rights. More to the point, readers are still crying out for more. I must admit a vested interest here, as I love crime and psychological thrillers. Here is a short list of some of the Grip Lit I’ve read, with a link to Goodreads so you can see what others say. In order of preference:
1 Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty. Extremely well written and aimed at women of my age, this ticks all the boxes.
2 I Let You Go by Clare MacKintosh. A bit cheesy, but I couldn’t put it down!
3 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy by Stieg Larsson. The clunky translation hindered me for the first 100 pages or so, but then I was hooked.
4 The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. Much hyped, slightly disappointing.
5 Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Full of suspense, yet intensely annoying!
Another book I’ve read and would recommend which doesn’t quite fit into this category is Be My Friend by Merle Nygate. It’s a cross between a psychological thriller and Chick Lit and is quite tongue-in-cheek at times. Set in South West London and North Surrey, the locations (and the characters) seemed strangely familiar.
Have you read any Grip Lit that you couldn’t put down? Do let me know and I’ll add it to my list.