Why Crime Fiction Does it for me
I write gritty crime fiction and I love it! I have two series of police procedurals and both are set in Bradford. My Gus McGuire series features a dual-heritage detective who has a doting family and a troubled mind. My newer series features D.S. Nikki Parekh who is (as my editor points out), Bold and Brave and Ferocious. Two very different main characters but both just brilliant to write.
I just love getting into the mind of the villains and trying to suss out what makes them tick. I also love working out how my hero would eventually ‘put the world to rights’ and, for me, crime fiction ticks all the boxes, both as a crime writer and as a reader.
Crime fiction is the largest selling genre for many reasons. It takes us to a world where the ‘goodie’ usually triumphs over the ‘baddie’. It allows us to explore the darkest aspects of humanity from the safety of our sofas and it stimulates our ‘sleuthing’ skills. It provides the same satisfaction that playing Cops and Robbers or British Bulldogs did in our childhood. It allows us, through the pages of a book, to bring some of the evil that exists in the world into our own home, take charge and make some sort of sense of it, secure in the knowledge that most of the time the baddie will get their comeuppance.
For me crime fiction, in all its many guises, is an exploration of the things that are wrong in the world and our attempt, as crime fiction writers, to highlight those wrongs by exploring them in a very real and human context. Whether you’re a cosy crime fan or a gritty thriller lover you can always, on the shelves of a good book shop, find something for you. The increase in sub-genres under the crime fiction umbrella is a constant source of joy to me. I can pluck a JD Robb off my shelf and be transported to New York of the future where interplanetary movement is routine. Or, I can grab a gritty police procedural by Caroline Mitchell and find myself thrilled with paranormal activity. Or, if I’m feeling a bit romantic there’s Beverley Barton or Mary Burton at hand to dart a Cupid’s arrow in my direction. This means that crime fiction as a genre never goes stale – there are always surprises, always new places to visit whether it’s Vaseem Khan’s, Mumbai, Martin Holmen’s, Stockholm or Deon Meyer’s South Africa.
Read, or write crime fiction and you travel the world, experiencing good and bad, love and hatred, joy and sadness, highs and lows, and you do it arm in arm with the best and the worst of humanity. Mmmm! Just my cup of tea!