Just as every book needs a good hero, the same book needs an even better villain. Good heroes linger in the memory long after the story has finished, but what makes them memorable are the actions of the villain and I give and example of those encountered by one hero below.
James Bond is probably the best known thriller hero but what makes him so good is his confrontation with a really nasty villain and he comes up against some very unpleasant ones. Most come across as deluded madmen who seek to dominate or destroy all that is good in the world. But my favourite is one of the most unexpected, an evil woman called Rosa Klebb, who appears in the novel and later movie “From Russia With Love, and trys to kill Bond with a poisoned blade in the toe of her shoe.
I try to portray the villains in my books in the same vein. In the novel “Magic Bullets”, a few characters appear to the hero as people who have harmed him or hindered his progress in some way but turn out to be “good guys”. The real villain starts out as being entirely opposite but towards the end of the novel turns out to be entirely despicable. In this way I hope the various twists in the story serve to keep the reader on his or her toes.