Crime Novel Settings

Just a little drabble I was thinking of when I was reading Agatha Christie and the slow burn of some crime novels.

Many novels seem to discount the potential drama in sleepy country towns, which I think is a bit of a waste since it means underestimating the potential for family grudges to seethe quietly in the background for years until something snaps. A lot of crime or thriller novels can go a bit overboard in action and suspense where the authors seem to try and outdo each other in the craziest and most dramatic thing that could happen which can leave me a bit exhausted and numb (it seems to be very popular with American crime thrillers which speaks wonders).

There’s a lot that an author can work with because murder is still murder so it’s still a horrific crime and just to get away with it requires a very specific mindset. There’s a lot of material to work with, for example, the author may have a scene where the detective and the assistant deconstruct a particular sentence that someone said from every single possible angle – the tone that the person said that sentence, or the emphasis on certain words, or if it’s in a different language, the correct context that word should be used and why it is, or isn’t applicable in this situation.

There’s also a lot of opportunities to explore human nature so generally the author will make philosophical comments on the unpredictable behaviour of people, and some poignant comment on the pursuit of justice, which if written well, hits right to the core (as good novels should), but if not, it’s just overly melodramatic.

But these novels tend to be very long-winded and detailed (and if not done well, ridiculous) so I accept that you have to be in the mood for it.


I am not entirely happy with this little spiel but I haven’t quite co-ordinated my thoughts on this yet, I might revisit this topic later.


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