Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cheap Thrills by @mrneil98

For months I anxiously awaited the release of Zero Day by David Baldacci and Micro, Michael Crichton’s last thriller completed by Richard Preston, and I had resigned myself to shelling out the $12.99 I’d paid for previous new releases on my nook. I was shocked, to say the least, when I found that each e-book was listed at a “special price” of $14.99. There was nothing special about the price. Neither of the books rival the length of Stephen King’s 11/22/63 or any of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series, and in any case what cost is extra pages to an ebook? In fact, what added cost could have possibly made these more expensive than the latest Rollins, Berry or Pendergast book. Somehow this price seemed excessive, crossing a previously unrealized line. Couldn’t this $15 be spent more efficiently on a greater quantity (and equal quality) of thrills?

With the gauntlet cast down, my wife and I set out to two of our favorite thrift stores, armed with a note pad, pencil and $15 in cash. Each store charges $1 for hardcovers and $.70 for paperbacks. The rules are simple and I make them up as I go. I am looking for thrillers that I have not read but would be interested in adding to my To-Be-Read list, which already stretches into the next life.

There are 47 hardcover thrillers between the two stores, of which I had previously read only 9. There are 48 paperbacks that filled the bill, forty of them I had yet to read. Most of the authors were recognizable and the titles were best sellers. It’s very difficult but I manage to narrow my selection.

The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen
Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs
Predator by Patricia Cornwell
Consent to Kill by Vince Flynn
Honor Among Thieves by Jeffery Archer
Saint by Ted Dekker
Raising Phoenix by Kyle Mills

The Eight by Katherine Neville
Dead Watch by John Sandford
Darkest Fear by Harlan Coben
The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen
Path of the Assassins by Brad Thor
The Keepers by Heather Graham
Dear Irene by Jan Burke
Play Dirty by Sandra Brown

Total for Hardcovers = $7, Paperbacks = $5.60; so I need two more paperback. I select two older thrillers by a couple of popular authors; Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton and Saving Faith by David Baldacci. Final total = $15. Now all I need is the time to read them.

Thrift stores are not the only option for “cheap” thrills. The 99CentNetwork has countless books priced $.99 - $2.99 by indie authors, many of whom are a part of the IBC. There is also the upcoming 99CentBookEvent by the WLC and IAN.
One final note: After the first two weeks of release at the “special price” of $14.99, Baldacci’s Zero Day is now selling for $12.99. What was special about the first pricing?


  1. What was special about the pricing? Simple - they could get away with it. Sounds pretty special to me.

    As for your books, the Eight is my single favorite thriller of all time, bar none. Love me Clancy, Rollins, Cussler, Ludlum, Silva, etc, etc, but Katherine Neville's The Eight is #1 in my book.

    Out of the rest, Raising Phoenix and Darkest Fear probably are the best. I haven't read all of the ones on your list, so probably some other great ones too.

  2. I rarely buy a new book on my Kindle, unless it's priced $5.99 or less. Our thrift stores charge $1.99 for a hardback, .99 for paperback, so it's not as good a deal as you got. I love Tess Gerritsen, so I've read the books you picked up. Guess I'll wait to pick up some of the others.