Build great characters. They need to be larger than life. If your readers identify or empathise with the characters they will keep reading. That's the key. I once read a thriller in which a man was murdered on page four, and by the time it happened I felt bad about it. That's skilful writing.
Be sure to involve your readers' emotions. One of my tutors gave this advice: "Make 'em laugh; make 'em cry; make 'em sweat." Don't underestimate the value of sweat. Tension drags the reader into the story.
Take a leaf out of Tolkien's style. He was a master of changing pace. After a period of prolongued tension -- by both the characters and the reader -- he would insert an element of rest. So the chase from Weather Top was followed by a sojourn in Rivendell; the journey south, with its perils, was followed by the beauty of Lothlorien. So play with your readers' emotions but then give them a reward, something they can relax with.
That's not all of it, of course, but it's a start.