Re your comments below:
"Wickipedia, for once, pretty much nails the distinction: 'In a thriller, the hero must thwart the plans of an enemy, rather than uncover a crime that has already happened.'"
No, as usual, Wikipedia misses the point. The "prevention of a crime" is important only in that it makes it easier to build a plot that emphasizes action, suspense, and pace.
Its not a requirement. Like the rotating POV, it's just a device that allows the writer to meet the requirement.
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