Killing Spree

Every day this week there will be different post all celebrating crime novels. There will be reviews and guest posts from fellow bloggers discussing such things as the appeal of crime novels and reading crime series. I’ll be reviewing the appropriately titled ‘Killer’ by Jonathan Kellerman and ‘A Death in the Dales’ by Frances Brody.

I love crime fiction. Although I like to read widely I would have to say that crime fiction makes up the majority of my reading. I love pitting my wits against the characters, and therefore to some extent against the authors, trying to see if I can work out ‘whodunit’ before the big reveal. And of course I love that slightly smug feeling when I do. I love standalone stories and I love series. There are a few authors whose books featuring returning characters I will have to read, a loyalty created over many years, or formed suddenly when I stumble across them and then devour a back catalogue. Whilst I have been introduced to a series by reading the latest book first, I am rather a pedant when it comes to reading a series in order. I feel as if I’ve walked into a story half way through, and on some occasions I find that an author assumes a reader will have read the other books so the previous storylines are given away. I like that attachments to characters can be formed, and that when a new book is released it is often like welcoming an old friend back from a long sojourn.

The great thing about crime fiction is that there really are enough variations to suit most readers. From ‘cosy’ mysteries based in small towns, with amateur detectives and few gory details, to hard-nosed detectives fighting their own demons, from almost horror-esque slaying to old-fashioned, genteel bumping off there is enough variety to ensure the appeal of crime fiction doesn’t waiver.

I hope you enjoy this week’s crime theme. And do let me know which crime fiction you like to turn to when you want to play armchair detective 🙂

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. MarinaSofia says:

    I too love crime fiction, pretty much of all colours and persuasions, standalones and series, noir and cosy etc. I particularly enjoy those set in exotic locations (exotic might be something like Soviet Russia or simply southern Italy, but just anything out of the everyday boring usual stuff). And I may be the only person who does not mind reading series out of order: that’s probably more out of necessity than choice, as I discovered many series at the library and had to read them in order of availability rather than publication.

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    1. janetemson says:

      Oh I love the ones set in exotic locations too. I have read series out of order but I tend feel like I’ve walked in on a conversation half way through :-). I think it all comes down to how much the author references the previous cases.

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  2. Kate Evans says:

    I’ve always loved crime fiction. Current faves: Ann Cleeves; Anya Lipska; Sarah Paretsky (always). Val McDermid said crime fiction is one of the genres which can and does tackle issues important to the current day. I got a lot out of her most recent one, Skeleton Road. For me, it’s location, issues and psychological depth. I’m not interested in serial killers. I’m interested in what makes ordinary people do horrible things and in wondering what I would have done in those circumstances. My novel, The Art of the Imperfect, explores mental health and is set in the North Yorkshire landscape.

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    1. janetemson says:

      Yes I find that fascinating too, how that one moment can alter people’s future, steering their life in a different, unexpected, situation. And as you say, the reason for the horrible deeds are much of the appeal. I’ll have to take a look at your book, being from Yorkshire I’m always interested in books set there and the issues raised sound intriguing.

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      1. Kate Evans says:

        Thank you. I was a bit embarrassed mentioning my novel, it didn’t seem quite the done thing but it did fit with my comment somehow.

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      2. janetemson says:

        Definitely fitted in with your comment, so I’m glad you did mention it 🙂

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