Wilkie Collins liberated the mystery story from drafty castles and clanking chains. He realized that creepier forms of terror can be found in the suburban house next door, that villains need not be one-dimensional incarnations of malignity, that harm is likelier to come from a con man than a ghoul.Perhaps it comes with age: you learn that sometimes the people you trust the most are the the ones you cause you harm. And how well do we know anyone these days? We’re all connected–and yet so disconnected. The people you think you know on Facebook and Twitter … but don’t. That’s what scares me these days. As Enid discovered in Murder in Madden, danger often comes disguised as someone you wouldn’t suspect.
Danger often comes disguised
As I get older (but not necessarily wiser), I realize I’m getting pickier about what I read. For years, I’ve read mysteries, thrillers, and suspense novels of all kinds. Many of them, like The Da Vinci Code, were set across several countries and had sweeping, world-changing plots. Some dealt with global and national political themes and organized crime. While I enjoyed those books, I now prefer to read books with plots and settings on a smaller scale that focus on the threats closest to us. This morning, I read an article in the Washington Post about an English author that sums up my current reading habits. Here’s an excerpt from the article: