05 April 2011

Characterisation and Reader Emotional Involvement

Check out and join Richard Adin's American Editor discussion: Characterization: How Important is Reader Emotional Involvement?

It struck me the other night while I was watching TV that in series like Spooks and NCIS, I remember (and love) the characters, but not the stories. In movies, it’s the storyline that stays with me, never the character. The difference between plot-driven and character-driven perhaps? I’d be really interested to hear others thoughts on this subject.

Does anyone have any recommendations for standalone (versus series) mysteries where the characters get inside the reader's head and stay there long after the book is finished?


  1. Gorky Park and Wolves Eat Dogs by Martin Cruz Smith.

    Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

    (Clever marketing, Tom's name).

    Also I would recommend John Burdett's "Bangkok" series...

    In the above, characters hold sway above the mystery.

  2. Thank you, Simon! Off to check them out right now...