mental and emotional conflicts between the main characters - rather than
physical action. Some of the most famous psychological thrillers have told
unsettling stories of deeply disturbed, violent minds, hiding behind the
mask of ordinary and sympathetic fellows.
One of the masters of
Patricia Highsmith. Her books often emanate a dark atmosphere
of looming madness. She tells stories of seemingly normal people who are
bound by a chain of events that inevitably seems to culminate into an
explosion of violence.
While many authors of psycho-thrillers
link crime with lurid sexual perversion or bizarre mental disorders, others
have created subtle psychological portraits of their protagonists.
Scandinavian crime fiction has a tradition of almost psycho-analytical
dissection of the leading characters. Their detectives are struggling with
depression, loneliness, alcoholism, and outbursts of violence, while their
villains are often crazy fanatics hiding behind the facades of Scandinavia's