David Morrell, who wrote Rambo, has put together a book called 'Thriller: 100 Must-Reads'. It's a great idea - essays by 100 different writers on the 100 best thrillers of all time. The list is pretty eclectic. It starts with Lee Child on Theseus and the Minotaur ('Jack thought the guy looked kind of strange. Bull-like. But it made no difference. He still bled when you shot him'), on to Beowulf, Macbeth and Robinson Crusoe before getting stuck into the 20th-century.
The thought is a good one. We think of the thriller as a fairly modern genre. Most people probably think it started with Ian Fleming. But really, it is just action-adventure storytelling, and that has been around since the beginning of time.
I've done an essay for the book on Hammond Innes's 'The Wreck of the Mary Deare'. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the esssays - and I hope someone decides to distribute the book here in the UK.