Now, where was I? Yes, Tess Gerritsen has published her back catalogue which are cross-genre romantic thrillers. They're entertaining but quite different from her current titles where romance is firmly consigned to sub-plots. You can see her developing her craft as her books have progressed. Now there are lots of red herrings and impossible to predict endings. Then, the thriller and romance elements jogged alongside each other and you could guess how both would end. The fun was in the travelling not the arriving. Tess Gerritsen is an amazing writer and it's great to see how she found her voice and her genre.

Karin Slaughter meanwhile has established two effectives series: the Grant County novels and the Will Trent titles. What's interesting is that Karin published the first Will Trent novel as a stand-alone. There was no clue to the reader that this book had any connection to her Grant County series (except having the same author!). Then, with the second book featuring Will Trent, Karin re-introduced Sara Linton, one of the main characters from the Grant County series. It was a brilliant technique. Readers invested emotionally (and financially) in Will's character and then re-discovered Sara Linton too.It's obvious that Karin plans not only each novel but also the series. Her commitment and dedication really pays off for the reader. And it means, SPOILER ALERT!!!! her series can survive the death of a main character.

Karin and Tess should be inspirations for us all and their novels have lessons even for those of us who don't write thrillers. How emotionally satisfying are our conclusions? What's our balance between build-up and pay-off? If we plan a bit more closely will it reap rewards for our readers?