When something bad is about to happen in a movie, the music cues the audience to move to the edge of their seats. But until the Kindle makes use of sound chips, writers have to depend on tone to create suspense.
Tolkien used short sentences and low-toned sounds to get our hearts beating:
We cannot get out. We cannot get out. They have taken the Bridge and the second hall. [...] We cannot get out. The end comes, and then drums, drums in the deep. [...] They are coming.
Hawthorne relied on spooky description in The House of the Seven Gables:
His face was preternaturally pale; so deadly white, indeed, that, through all the glimmering indistinctness of the passage-way, Hepzibah could discern his features, as if a light fell on them alone.
Of course, there are also great cliches to be used: a strange noise, a “little did he know,” a sudden change of the weather. Please watch this hilarious Onion video for more exaples, and then tell me: How do your favorite authors create suspense?