Monday, August 17, 2009

Always Look Over Your Shoulder - Conspiracy Thrillers

When I think conspiracy thriller I think of two things almost immediately: 1) the television show X-Files, wherein FBI agents Mulder and Scully did their best to investigate and prove the existance of one of the largest conspiracies imaginable (i.e., aliens had landed and were even now engaged in a gigantic effort to take over earth) and 2) Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code – wherein conspiracies perpetrated through the ages by certain societies within the Catholic Church kept secret the true nature (and number?) of Jesus’ apostles.

Our friendly neighborhood Wiki article defines the conspiracy thriller as a book “in which the hero/heroine confronts a large, powerful group of enemies whose true extent only he/she recognizes.” They give as prime examples the works of Robert Ludlum, and I would especially recommend the titles about Jason Bourne, recently made into movies – The Bourne Identity; The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. These are excellent books and full of double crosses, covert agencies and everything you could want from a conspiracy thriller.

David Baldacci has written a series of books that could be considered conspiracy thrillers. This series begins with The Camel Club, and follows (in reading order) with The Collectors, Stone Cold and Divine Justice.

And finally, a book I would like to recommend that I just recently read is The Eight by Katherine Neville. The Eight features a exceptionally complex plot focusing on action in two distinct time periods. To quote from a review, “A young novice, during the French Revolution, risks her life to preserve a jeweled chess set that the Moors gave Charlemagne, and in the 20th century, a computer expert and a chess master try to solve its mystery.” There is a sequel – entitled The Fire – that follows one of our protaganists, Alexandra Solarin, as she tries to solve, once again, the mystery of the Charlemagne chess service.

If you have any favorite conspiracy thrillers that you would like to share with us, please do so. Meg

[By the way – one of the best conspiracy thriller movies I have ever watched is Sneakers, starring Robert Redford, Dan Ackroyd and River Phoenix. It has been called the “last great hacking movie” and it is quite the ride – even if it was produced in 1992.]



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