A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

Julie Moffet . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I Didn't See That Coming!

I love writing plot twists. And I hate writing plot twists. That part of my writing process turns my brain into a pretzel. But to me, the temporary (let's hope!) insanity is worth it.

One of my favorite reasons for watching or reading thrillers, mysteries, suspense, and romantic suspense is the potential for surprises. To me, there’s nothing better than an unexpected twist. That's especially true when I'm trying to figure out a puzzle and it zigs where I thought it would zag. After years of watching television and movies and reading books that throw twists at me, it’s really hard to surprise me.

Which makes it that much more delicious when it happens. And it makes me wish I'd thought up that plot.

I have a list of some of the books and movies with the most notable plot twists and surprise endings. I won’t spoil the endings for you—but you can find spoilers on the internet if you must.


  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

  • Atonement by Ian McEwan

  • Tell No One by Harlan Coben


  • The Game

  • Identity

  • The Usual Suspects

  • Dead Again

  • Psycho

  • Primal Fear

  • Fight Club

  • Se7en

  • L.A. Confidential

  • The Sixth Sense

  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

I would love to hear which books or movies have surprised you. I’m always looking to be shocked.


Rita said...

Gone Girl was a surprise. I am adding, I did not like the book. And yes Se7en.
The end of the HBO series The Sopranos was a shock. And the Sixth Sense which, when I watched it a dozen more times, ALL the foreshadowing was right there. Done brilliantly IMO.
My absolute go to for foreshadowing and zowie ending is Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island. I have a print copy that is pitifully tabbed and highlighted. Reading a page or two is an inspiration for me.

Anne Marie Becker said...

I'm with you, Rita - Gone Girl didn't have the ending I would have chosen, and I kind of saw the twist coming, but I really enjoyed it.

I will definitely have to check out Shutter Island! That sounds fabulous!!

Cathy Perkins said...

I had to laugh when I read the post. As a mystery/suspense author, I notice small plants that a reader may not pick up on (don't tell me y'all don't do that too!).
Shutter Island is on my TBR pile - I'll have to slide it ahead of a few others :)

Anne Marie Becker said...

Cathy, I love picking up on those little plants. My husband is often shocked I know how things will turn out, so it's fun to see what non-writers don't see. ;)

And yes, I just bought Shutter Island too - looks like it'll be a good read!

Marcelle Dubé said...

Many of these I haven't seen or read, so thanks for the recommendations, Anne Marie. Of the movies I did see, Sixth Sense truly wowed me. And yes, Rita, all the foreshadowing was there, and I didn't see any of it at first viewing. Love it when that happens!

jean harrington said...

Ann Marie, Your question will take some reflection. But off the top, no question, Agatha Christy faked us all out in And Then There Were None.

Anne Marie Becker said...

Marcelle, you're welcome! Hope you enjoy reading/watching some of them.

Anne Marie Becker said...

Jean, let me know if you come up with any more. I love new twists!

Clare London said...

Oh yes, Shutter Island is marvellous, I'm such a Lehane fan :). I think Agatha Christie did it best - or maybe first? - and I also love her Endless Night which has a twist. It was my first reading of a non-detective story from her and has stayed in my mind ever since.

Also Winston Graham wrote great suspense novels - not just Poldark *g* - including a couple of my (twisty) faves: The Walking Stick and After the Act.

Anne Marie Becker said...

Oh, I'll have to check those out! I read a lot of Agatha Christie growing up, but it's been years. Endless Night sounds intriguing. And I started Shutter Island last night. Leanne has a great, unique voice!

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