CIA operatives are disappearing, and the head of their unit needs to find out who's killing them. Two agents have vanished, and Ignatius quickens the pace nicely from the first disappearance to the second.
We meet the first agent over the course of three chapters, gradually coming to know his mission, his cover story, and the personal insecurities that let us know all may not go well with him. Here's how we meet the second agent: "Alan Frankel had every reason to think he was safe."
With an introduction like that, you know this guy's life insurance had better be paid up. Moreover, it's a nice example of building momentum. Compressing the narration is a neat way to quicken the pace and to avoid monotony when relating a succession of similar events. And pace, it seems to this inexperienced reader of thrillers, is precisely what a thriller must master.
What are your favorite examples of well-paced thrillers or crime stories? How do they achieve their good pacing?
© Peter Rozovsky 2011