Monday, January 5, 2015

Richard Brawer Talks About His Novels

Mystery  is the genre of my first four novels. However after those books, I strayed from mysteries with my first historical fiction novel, then to suspense/thriller novels where I seem to have found my niche.

Are mysteries really that different from suspense/thriller novels? The answer is elusive. In mysteries we want to find out “who done it.” However, if written properly, the reader will be kept in constant suspense. Suspense/thriller novels are written backwards from mysteries. Generally we know the antagonist and why he has put the protagonist in danger. The suspense revolves around how will the protagonist defeat his/her enemy.

For example, my breakout novel, The Nano Experiment, (80 reviews so far with a 4+ average) is a suspense/thriller about an African-American mother of two falsely accused of murder who escapes from death row, battles to prove her innocence and reunite with her children. There is no mystery here. The reader knows the antagonist and why the protagonist is being chased.

On the other hand, suspense novels can also have a mystery theme. For example, my latest novel, Love’s Sweet Sorrow, is a thriller with a mystery woven in. The protagonist uncovers evidence that his boss, the CEO of America’s largest weapons manufacturer, is involved in a conspiracy to sell weapons to terrorists. The mystery is why would the CEO be part of such a conspiracy? In addition, we learn early that the CEO and the man leading the chase to retrieve the evidence are front men, but we don’t know who that top man is.

So Love’s Sweet Sorrow is both a suspense/thriller as well as a mystery. And just to make things more interesting there is a romance as a sub theme.


Ariel’s and Jason’s budding romance is thrown into turmoil when Jason uncovers evidence linking his company’s CEO to arms smugglers selling weapons to terrorists. As the chases and harrowing escapes from those trying to retrieve the evidence intensify, Ariel, a devout Quaker with an absolute aversion to war and murder, is forced to kill to save hers and Jason’s lives.

Jason’s battle to expose the smugglers and convince Ariel that saving their lives was an innate reflex amplifies their differences and compels them to delve deeply into their long-held opposing convictions and question whether they are truly meant to be together.

There are nine reviews on Amazon including the editorial reviews. This one sums them up. “Exciting thriller and love story extraordinaire!”

Read more about Richard and his books at his website:

Love’s Sweet Sorrow is available in a trade paperback and e-book wherever books are sold.

E-book: $2.99
Trade Paperback: $11.99

A couple of the more popular links:




Also can be ordered from any bookstore by title or ISBN: 978-0-9890632-7-2

Love’s Sweet Sorrow is published by Vinspire Publishing, a well respected mid-size publisher.

After graduating the University of Florida and a six month basic training tour in the National Guard, Richard worked 35 years in the textile and retail industries.  Always an avid reader, Richard began writing mystery, suspense and historical fiction novels in 1994.  When not writing, he spends his time exploring local history. He has two married daughters and lives in New Jersey with his wife.


Palmaltas said...

Very good explanation of the difference between mystery and thriller/suspense. Looking forward to reading your books.

Richard Brawer said...

Marilyn, thank you for hosting me on your blog.
Richard Brawer

Richard Brawer said...

Thanks Palmaltas for reading my blog post.

If you are interested in reading Love's Sweet Sorrow and you have a tablet or e-book reader, I just received a note from my publisher that they are going to put the e-book version of that book on sale for $.99 from Feb. 16 to Feb. 22

I hope you see this msg.

Richard Brawer

Mary Thornburg said...

Really interesting discussion of the difference(s) between mysteries and thrillers.

I'm currently writing a sequel to my science-fantasy novel that will be released in April. This one follows some of the themes of the first book, but somehow... it turned into a mystery -- which wasn't my original intent and is NOT my forte! So I'm grateful for discussions like this, which may help me get a much-needed grip on what I'm doing!

Janet Greger said...

Which do you think is more fun to write: a mystery or a thriller?

Richard Brawer said...

Thank you Mary and good luck with your sequel. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post.
Richard Brawer

Richard Brawer said...

Hi Janet,
I think it is easier to write a thriller than a mystery. In a mystery you have to set up clues and introduce the suspects at the without giving the killer away.

I am struggling with a 4th mystery using my detective from my earlier ones. So far I have not been able to work it out where the killer is not obvious. If I can't I will have to drop this book.

As to writing suspense, the reason I think this is easier than writing a mystery is because you know the "bad guy" and why his after the "good guy" and all you have to do is make it suspenseful as to the protagonist geting himself free of the antagonist. That's a little brief of an explanation, but I don't want to go on for ever here.

Thanks for reading my blog post.

Richard Brawer