With 72 Hours releasing in a week, itâ€™s occupying a good share of my thoughts right now. And after watching â€œThe Bourne Identityâ€ and â€œThe Bourne Supremacyâ€, one of the things Iâ€™ve been pondering is subgenre labeling. (Sometimes the connection is only obvious to me, but itâ€™s there.)
On my Books page, I have 72 Hours classified as romantic suspense, just as itâ€™s listed on the Samhain Publishing coming soon page. Butâ€”according to my own possibly whacked definitionsâ€”itâ€™s kinda not really. Itâ€™s more of an action-adventure romance.
Whatâ€™s the difference? I have no clue if thereâ€™s a definitive difference as far as the industry is concerned, but to meâ€”as a readerâ€”there is. Action-adventure romances are less concerned about the why and the who than with the kicking of ass. Even though the hero(ine) of a suspense thriller is often the law enforcement hunter, the overall theme is of being hunted, and usually the identity and the motive are hidden. In action-adventure, the main characters may also be hunted, but they quickly go on the offensive, kicking ass and taking namesâ€”names the reader/viewer often gets right up front. Suspense involves taking puzzle pieces and trying to make them fit together while somewhere out there, somebodyâ€™s waiting to hurt you. In action-adventure, the gunâ€™s to your head, but you blow up the puzzle box and sift through the scorched pieces, hoping the bad guyâ€™s in there. In suspense, the reader/viewer is trying to solve the puzzle along with the protagonist. In action-adventure, (s)heâ€™s just along for the wild ride, hoping the protagonist lives to fight another day. The psychological vs. the physical.
Suspense: Kiss the Girls, Silence of the Lambs,
Action-Adventure: Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Tomb Raider, Under Siege.
Suspense: Lisa Gardner
Action-Adventure: Suzanne Brockmann
Of course, thatâ€™s just my personal take on it. Your mileage may vary. But if I had to classify 72 Hours, it would be: action movie meets chick flick on the page.
Orâ€¦an action-adventure romance.