Why Thriller Writers Hate Cellphones

By John C. A. Manley

Thriller writers hate cell phones. Can you guess why?

Because they lower the life-and-death stakes for the characters in a story.

Being a novelist, I’ve listened to and read many interviews with thriller writers. Over and over again, I’ve heard them comment on how the advent of cell phone technology made writing suspenseful novels more difficult. Whether it’s a young woman being pursued through the woods or the secret agent running through the back streets of Rome, they can just pull out their cell phone and call for help.

Thriller writers’ livelihoods depend on putting the hero of their stories in near-impossible situations where no one is coming to the rescue. So, they have to find an excuse for any cell phones to be damaged, stolen or otherwise made useless.

My novel, Much Ado About Corona, isn’t a thriller, but it certainly contains elements of the suspense genre. The way I handled the cellphone conundrum was rather unique as you can see from this short excerpt:


“Aye, Captain, I’m starving,” said AJ.

He was scanning the spines of books on the shelves across the room, still wearing his big red glasses on the outside of his beaver mask.

“I’m so hungry I could eat tree bark. All I’ve had today are a few gingerbread men. And that was…”

He pulled out his cellphone.

Stefanie suddenly slammed the freezer shut.

“No cell phones!” she scolded.

“It’s in airplane mode,” said AJ, holding it up for us to see. “I’m just checking the time.”

“I don’t care if it’s in a coma and you’re checking its serial number,” shouted Stefanie. “Turn it off! Otherwise, you might as well just call 911 and turn us all in.”

With pursed lips, AJ powered down his iPhone. Léo and Mathéo both pulled out their phones and began doing the same. Mine, of course, was with the Sudbury Police. I didn’t expect to ever see it again.

“Those things are tracking devices, plain and simple,” said Stefanie. “I’m tempted to confiscate all of them and throw them in Remi Lake.” She began sliding open drawers in the kitchen, until she found a long, thin box. “After you shut them down, wrap them in aluminum foil. Who knows if those things are ever really off.”


Along with Big Brother tracking, Stefanie’s main objection to cell phones is the fact wireless radiation has been linked to a long list of physical and mental health problems (ranging from anxiety to cancer).

People may call her (and me) a tin-foil-wearing Luddite but the science is on our side. The dangers of wireless radiation have been suppressed by Big Tech, just like the dangers of vaccines have been suppressed by Big Pharma.

For example, as Nick Pinault (AKA the EMF Guy from Montreal) recently stated, after spending years reviewing hundreds of studies: “Cell phone radiation DOES modify your brainwaves, even at levels that authorities continue to argue are ‘perfectly safe.'”

Yep, you can trust those authorities.

They’d never lie.

Sorry, but as with most things, you need to do your own research, instead of assuming governments and multinational corporations are looking out for you. To help you discern the truth from the lies, Nick Pineault will be hosting the 2024 EMF Hazards Summit. This online event features twenty guest speakers — including doctors, scientists and investigative journalists — running from April 11th to 14th.

I can’t promise the summit will be as suspenseful as a David Baldacci or Lee Child novel, but I expect it’ll be full of intrigue, surprises and… practical information you can use to keep you and your family safe.

There is no charge to attend. You can sign up here.


John C. A. Manley is the author of Much Ado About Corona: A Dystopian Love Story, the forthcoming All The Humans Are Sleeping and other works of speculative fiction. You get free chapters from his novels by subscribing to his Blazing Pine Cone email newsletter at https://blazingpinecone.com/subscribe/

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