My First Thriller
By MSW Guest Blogger Karin Salvalaggio
At the age of eleven, I was probably too young to read my first thriller, but Not After Midnight, a short story collection by Daphne du Maurier, had been calling to me from the bookshelf for some time. Like The Exorcist that sat next to it, there was an unspoken warning – it didn’t matter if I was a precocious reader, I wasn’t ready for it. At first I didn’t understand my parent’s reticence. The opening pages of “Don’t Look Now” seemed so innocent. A loving young couple are holidaying in Venice. John and Laura linger over lunch. They gently tease each other and make up stories about the elderly twin spinsters a few tables away. What could be more idyllic?
The author, Daphne du Maurier was a master of her craft. When she turned her formidable talent to writing a psychological thriller she brought the weight of her genius into creating a work of fiction that is so powerful it physically scared you. Set in the confusing labyrinth of canals and dark alleyways that crisscross Venice, this is a story inhabited with compelling characters and a narrative structure that leaves the reader begging for release.