I read The Ruins by Scott Smith earlier, and bought A Simple Plan because it's his only other novel. Friend Troy who recommended The Ruins emailed to let me know that A Simple Plan was just as excellent and that it didn't follow the movie exactly, so I picked it up off the pile and pushed through.
The first sixty pages were painful--they took me forever. But once I got into the action, I flew through the last few hundred pages in two sittings.
What I love about Smith is his ability to make the reader feel what his characters are feeling, irregardless of the situation. I found myself actually feeling guilty, and a little paranoid, as I read A Simple Plan. Now that's a talented writer. I remember feeling the same way when I read The Ruins--like I was taking on some of the feelings of the characters even though they were in Mexico and I was sitting in Minnesota.
My only problem with Smith is that he doesn't write more.