Author C. L. Talyor tells us why you should give domestic noir a chance- you never know- you might just fall in love with it.
1. If you've ever fancied yourself as a bit of a detective then a Domestic Noir novel is the perfect place to test your skills. Can you tell who is lying and who is telling the truth? Can you work out who snatched the missing child or why the husband keeps disappearing off at inopportune moments?
2. If you think your partner or family is a nightmare they'll seem positively angelic compared to the lying, cheating, manipulative characters that often populate the pages of Domestic Noir novels.
3. Portrayal of women. Bonkbusters often feature impossibly glamorous and highly sexed woman. Quirky, funny women populate romantic comedies. But the women in psychological thrillers are 'every woman', as flawed and real as you are.
4. Fear. Domestic Noir novels tap into our base fears - that our partner has a dark secret, that our child might go missing, that someone we love cannot be trusted. Confronting these fears in a psychological thriller can be cathartic. And no one gets hurt (other than the characters).
5. Thrills! There aren't many genres that make your heart beat faster as you frantically turn the pages. When you put yourself in the main character's shoes you're as desperate as she is to discover the truth.
6. Pace. A good Domestic Thriller will never bore you. I've had tweets from readers who've told me they couldn't put one of my books down and got next to no sleep as a result. It's 'just one more chapter' syndrome.
7. You can play 'guess the twist'. Not all Domestic Noir novels have them but most have twists and turns aplenty. If you guess the twist you have the right to feel smug - the author tried very hard to mislead you. And if you didn't, there's something quite thrilling about being shocked or surprised.
8. You're never quite sure if you'll get a happy or unhappy ending. It's a rare romantic comedy where the female lead doesn't find love and you're pretty sure the police will get their man (or woman) in a police procedural. But with Domestic Noir tales it could go either way. The child could be found alive or dead. The husband could turn out to loving but misunderstood, or a psychopath. And the main character may discover the truth but it might not make her happy.
9. You can play 'what would I do?' The main character will invariably face some tough decisions. Should she defend her child from the school bully? Should she run from the dangerous situation at home, or stay? Should she speak up or keep quiet? As she struggles with her choices you'll be urging her to make the same decision as you (possibly aloud!).
10. You can't trust the main character. With so many Domestic Noir books featuring unreliable female characters you can never be totally sure if you can trust the main character's version of events. She seems like a decent person and you empathise with her plight but can you trust her? She might be lying, not just to her friends and family but also to you the reader, and maybe even herself.
C.L. Taylor is a Sunday Times Top Five best-selling author. She broke onto the crime scene in 2014, with her debut becoming one of The Bookseller's top ten bestselling adult debut fiction titles for 2014. The Missing is her highly anticipated, and even darker new psychological thriller. It is published on 7th April.