Mystery Readers Only

Visiting Cliffhangers

By Marian Lanouette

Good morning, Thonie, and thank you for hosting me.

I hope this post finds you all well during these trying times. To help fill in the hours between my writing, I’m making masks and donating them for the cause, plus I took up knitting again. How are you filling up your hours during this quarantine?

I’m visiting cliffhangers today and how readers feel about them. Personally, as a reader of mystery/thrillers, I don’t mind a secondary thread being left open for the next book. But I just closed a novel where the resolution of the main murder didn’t happen. At one in the morning after sitting up all night to finish the book, it left me cold. I felt cheated.

How do you feel about a hanging ending?

The author is an exceptional writer, who draws you into her books from the first paragraph. I felt the cliffhanger unnecessary, as I would’ve order the next book upon finishing this one. Now, I’m debating if I want to continue to read the series.

Would you continue to read to get to the conclusion or would you walk away?

As a writer I’m really curious about your take on them. When I write and research a book, I plot out clues for the reader to follow. At the end I want you, the reader, to feel satisfied with not only the resolution, but that you were able, or not (surprised), to solve the crime.

As I invest my time in a book, I get lost in the story. I search out the clues to the crime and the idiosyncrasies for the villain. I want to learn what makes them tick—why they demonstrate abnormal or unacceptable behavior then what society agrees is the norm. How are their brains wired differently than ours? Is it physiological or is it psychology that shapes us into who we are today? Are we all born with a clean slate or are the criminals behavior inherent from birth?

All those questions keep me writing and researching. I love the research that goes into a book. It broadens my horizon, gets me thinking in a new a direction. It gives me ideas or new premises I’d have never considered without the time spent digging through the piles written on human behavior.

Though I have to admit that sometimes the research can put you in a dark spot. As I was culling out traits, characteristics and crimes of serial killers for my nominated Daphne Du Maurier Award book, All the Pretty Brides, the Jake Carrington Thriller series, I found myself in the darkest of mindset. I had to stop my research and start writing the character. If you want to dig deeper into the minds of a serial killer, a good place to start is The A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers by Harold Schecter. Creepy but informative.

In the end, I believe it’s a little bit of everything that shapes the criminal/murderer. But there is no one to blame for their action but themselves. They are the ones who have committed the unspeakable acts, no one else. And it’s the intrigue, the crime, I believe that keeps us reading murder mysteries and thrillers. I especially like stories where a normal person in a second in time just snaps. I have to read on to find out what pushed them over the edge.

Synopsis: All the Pretty Brides, A Jake Carrington Thriller

Homicide Lieutenant Jake Carrington has an engagement that can’t wait—with a killer.

Haunted by the murder of his sister, Lieutenant Jake Carrington struggles to control his personal demons as he stands over the brutalized body of a young woman found dead on the railroad tracks. The victim disappeared on July 6th, the fifth woman in as many years to go missing on that date. The fifth happy bride-to-be.

The only one whose body has turned up.

Soon the Killer is sending personal messages to Jake. They refer to an unidentified brother he believes Jake hates as much as he does.

With his partner distracted by turmoil at home, Jake is on his own.

Drawn deeper and deeper into a murderous family feud, his mission is to find out who the killer’s brother is—stop him before another innocent woman’s life is cut tragically short.

Happy Reading!

Marian Lanouette

A self-described tough blonde from Brooklyn, Marian grew up as one of ten children in a five room apartment. As far back as she can remember, Marian loved to read and would lock herself in the closet with a flashlight and her books and read for hours on end. When she ran out of her library books she’d grab the newspaper so she could keep reading. She was especially intrigued by the Daily News crime reports. Her Jake Carrington thrillers are informed by her admiration for police work, her experience as office manager of a crematorium, her thirst for life, and her desire to write books where good prevails, even in the darkest times.

She’s worked in many fields throughout her life—as an office manager for a cemetery/crematory, a bank teller, retail salesgirl, and many years as an accounting manager for a mid-size law firm. But the career she loves the most is writing.

Marian lives in New England with her husband.

Here’s where to buy Marian’s books:

THE PRETTY BRIDES, A Jake Carrington Thriller, A 2019 DAPHNE du MAURIER Award of Excellence in Mystery/Suspense Finalist (book three)

ALL THE DIRTY SECRETS, A Jake Carrington Thriller, (book four)

ALL THE HIDDEN SINS, A Jake Carrington Thriller (book two)

ALL THE DEADLY LIES, A Jake Carrington Thriller (book one)