If you’ve visited your local bookshop recently, or browsed books on Amazon, you’ll have noticed how popular thrillers have become. Crime, political intrigue, suspense, the list goes on. I’ve noticed my very own corporate thriller genre thriving too. As well as my own books – Up In Smoke and After The Interview, other British writers are covering white collar crime. The brilliant Robert Harris wrote a suspenseful story about a hedge fund (The Fear Index) and even J Jackson Bentley switched focus from soccer crime to the City of London.
Why is business suddenly in the spotlight? Perhaps it’s because the credit crunch has revealed that corporate culture isn’t as boring as we all thought, with banks plagued by losses, mis-selling and interest rate-fixing scandals. We even discovered the Co-op Bank in Britain was run by Crystal Methodist Paul Flowers, a cocaine addict.
My own observation of the corporate world – the world in which I’ve worked for decades – is that it’s populated by humans. That means emotions like love, loss, revenge and fear come into play. People annoy each other. Sometimes they fall in love (it was rumoured that 20% of the staff would marry each other at one of my workplaces). There are winners and losers, sometimes very bad losers indeed. Mistakes are made and covered up. Plenty of material for a thriller there – and thanks to Paul Flowers and his ilk, readers will believe it! You can see from the tasters on this website how the corporate life has inspired me.
Having said that, I admit to spicing up my fiction – to my knowledge, my colleagues haven’t resorted to murder and fraud! They’ve had to get used to more public interest in the way they do business, however. Taxpayers’ money was used to bail out the banks, and individuals are starting to ask how large corporations make profits and whether they pay enough tax on them. I hinted at some answers in After The Interview.
The corporate thriller is definitely here to stay! What do you think? Follow me on Twitter @AAAbbottStories and let me know!