Last week it was the centenary of the first book publication of John Buchan‘s The Thirty-Nine Styeps.
Buchan’s book about a single man – Richard Hannay – on the run from both unknown enemies and the authorities, and trying to solve a mystery in order to save his own life, became the template for a lot of subsequent “thrillers” – a genre which Buchan called “shocker”, and that he contributed in creating, together with Erskine Childres.
If we are to believe Wikipedia (how could we not?), Buchan
described a “shocker” as an adventure where the events in the story are unlikely and the reader is only just able to believe that they really happened.