Hot Copy: Women with Murderous Intent Collide in New Thrillers

The past decade or so has seen the rise of a new cohort of women thriller writers — in addition to Abbott, there’s Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and Ruth Ware, among others — whose works not only place female killers in a central role but also treat them as complex, fully realized individuals. – Ruth Franklin [New York Magazine]

I WRITE thrillers.

If you find yourself in this book section of Amazon… You will see Megan Abbott, Rachel Hargrove, Gillian Flynn, and other authors of this dynamic genre. Look down the shelf and you’ll find Olivia’s Turn.

The women protagonists in my fiction have to fight for what they want. Often against fierce odds. These stories are kinetic. Intense.

From an interview with Megan Abbott in New York Magazine

As the afternoon shadows lengthen, our conversation ranges from the recent death of Philip Roth — “His books were smart and dirty, and until then, I didn’t know you could be both,” she wrote in an appreciation — to Flowers in the Attic… “All those dark feelings you’re not supposed to have as a girl, it gave you license to have,” Abbott says. It’s another novel with — spoiler alert — a female killer. “There’s so few examples of the dead boy who everybody fantasizes about or projects things onto,” she muses later. “It just never happens.” I ask why. “Patriarchy!” she replies.

Two women collide in my psychological thriller.

There is Betty. A woman whose sexual persona ignited in youth. It was the first power she experienced. A tortured childhood twisted how she used it.

When met with disapproval, rebellion boiled.

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Brutal crimes by women are explored in these new thrillers. When fury overtakes a woman.

Self-defense is part of the mix. Olivia is on the defensive once Betty finds out she has read her diary.

Women in modern thrillers are equal opportunity sufferers. A journey of power struggles, and murder.

Gillian Flynn, Lianne Moriarty… Rachel Hargrove… and so many other women thriller writers have enlivened the literary landscape.

Perhaps you’ve read or are watching Sharp Objects on HBO. The molten core is past pain replicated inside a woman’s mind over and over again. Torture that disallows healing.

And then there is the mother…

In Olivia’s Turn, a villainess back from the dead is exposed in her diary, which will be a new blockbuster thriller.

Betty’s obsession with Olivia is at the center of the film about her diary. It evolves into psychological gamesmanship.

When mind games start.

Torment becomes the seduction.