August 1, 2016

The Rise of the Domestic Crime Thriller

The Guardian discusses the rise of the "domestic suspense thriller" here, noting the dominance of female writers in that genre. The Atlantic has done a feature on this type of crime fiction; it's in the July/August 2016 issue.

Features of this kind of writing? Murder, of course, but the body count tends to be low, and the motives tend to be emotional. Emotion is the hallmark of a lot of this writing. That's not to say that some of these works aren't procedurals: police procedurals, P.I. novels, or even cosies (they can be thrillers, too, and very procedural in their approach). But think Agatha Christie. Motive in an Agatha Christie is traceable to the human heart. Wackos are few in a Christie, and even they are deranged because of lack of emotional connection.

In an era in which we seem both more connected than ever and less able to make connections, maybe the popularity of crime fiction that speaks to our deepest fears and feelings isn't so difficult to understand. 

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