Re your comment below:
"Ah, like _The 39 Steps_! What a good novel that is. But what is the
difference between 'venture novel' and 'thriller?' I am thinking of
Edward Aarons, a favorite of mine (OK, maybe he was not always a big
ball of fire, but so what?). Also of some of Ross Thomas's novels. It
would be curious to discover that they are in fact thrillers..."
An adventure novel isn't necessarily a mystery (crime fiction, detective story, suspense, fill in your preferred term for the genre-at-large), while a thriller is.
Not all adventure novels are thrillers. Not all mysteries are thrillers. But thrillers are always mysteries, and usually adventure novels.
Think of it as a literary Venn diagram.
As for Ross Thomas, I'd certainly say that THE COLD WAR SWAP was a thriller, and probably the other MacCorkle/Padillo books, too. Ditto the Wu/Durant series.
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