Scott Smith, the guy who wrote A Simple Plan, has a new novel out called The Ruins. Forgetting for a minute that he wrote both the novel and the screenplay that Sam Raimi's amazingly suspenseful thriller was based on, there are a few reasons why The Ruins is going on my reading pile.
First, it's about an abandoned archeological dig. In the jungle. If there's any setting more captivating to me than abandoned old buildings (see: The Keep by F. Paul Wilson) it's the mystery and danger of the jungle. Put 'em together and I'm sold.
Second, it's about four, innocent friends who find the ruins with the help of a couple of strangers while on vacation in Mexico. I'm a big fan of Hitchcock because of his ability to put completely normal people in the most horrifyingly stressful situations. I'm not necessarily saying that Smith is another Hitchcock, but judging from A Simple Plan, he knows psychological tension and horror.
Finally, Stephen King says that "it does for Mexican vacations what Jaws did for New England beaches." This I have to read.