Dan Simmons's "Drood", thriller and something of a horror novel, provides a lengthy exploration of the creative mind, and of the powers of manipulation that authors sometime use to possess, literally, the minds of their readers. Narrated by Wilkie Collins and featuring Charles Dickens strongly, the book rides too the carousel of emotions felt between the authors as their careers embrace, overlap, and eclipse one another. "Drood" is a novel on will, deception, and authorial engineering taken to its most extreme result, and the reader, much like the central characters, will alternate between despising and adoring the two men presented here. A very enjoyable novel, "Drood" balances the demands of pacing with the joys of exploring the secrets possible in two very prominent, very public literary lives.Other thrillers that use literary figures to similar effect include Frederick Busch's The Mutual Friend (featuring Dickens again, and narrated by George Dolby) and The Night Inspector (Herman Melville), and Eric Zancey's Panama: A Novel (Henry Adams). Busch's books in particular are excellent.