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The Problems With… Crime Fiction

Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all doing well. Today I’m going to be posting a new kind of blog post unlike anything I’ve posted before. I don’t think this will be a series as such…but there are a couple of genres I’d like to address. In this post, I’ll be talking about some of my issues with/some of the cliches present in Crime Fiction (in the hope of not appearing too negative). I do love Crime Fiction, but occasionally the novels can fall flat for me because of the following reasons. Please let me know in the comments if you like this post or not – I love hearing from you all! So, keep reading…



1) Repetitive Openings.

Crime scene danger tapes illustration


What I don’t like:

The first issue that I have with some Crime Fiction novels is the opening. I seem to find that the novels can often open/begin in the same way, which can sometimes be dull and uninteresting.

I’ve found that a lot of Crime Fiction opens with a prologue-type section, in which the reader hears from the first victim. They may be being followed or may be scared or anxious…and then the chapter ends with “and then everything went black” or a similar line. The next chapter then details the discovery of the body of the victim, often told from the perspective of a police officer or a member of the crime investigation team.

What I’d like to see more of:

I enjoy novels that open in more interesting or unique ways. It’s interesting to read the narration from a more unexpected perspective i.e. the villain or the murderer, rather than the victim/police officer.

In terms of plotting, it’s more interesting for me, as a reader, to not be hit with the murder straight away. I like a bit more of a build-up to the action, so we get to know the characters more and can begin to relate to them. It’s much more affecting to read about the murder of a victim that the reader has had chance to get to know and relate to, in my opinion.



2) Two-Dimensional Characters.



What I don’t like:

I’ve found that, often, characters in Crime Fiction can be quite two-dimensional and there can be a lack of character progression, particularly in the instances of crime series. For example, the crime series may follow a particular detective or police officer, but the character may not actually change or grow much over the course of the series.

A lot of Crime Fiction appears to be more plot-led than character-led, and authors may be more concerned with churning out book after book to create a successful series, rather than focusing on each individual character and making them as realistic/believable as possible.

What I’d like to see more of:

I enjoy crime series in which you can see a clear growth/progression in each of the main characters. For example, in the first book of the series, the main protagonist may be quite immature or inexperienced; but as time goes on, the character grows and changes more and more.

Three-dimensional, complex characters are definitely much more interesting to read about than flat, two-dimensional characters. I like to be able to relate to a character and see some of myself in them, but also be able to dislike aspects/parts of them. You can do much more with characters than with plots, in my opinion.



3) Ambiguous Endings.



What I don’t like:

Crime Fiction novels sometimes end with a lot of ambiguity or uncertainty. I’m not really a fan of the whole “but the killer is still out there” kind of ending. I understand that this lends itself to the next book in the series and it’s a good way to keep the reader invested in the series…but for me, it’s just a bit dull.

Often, the novels end with the false belief that the killer will be caught and brought to justice. But right at the end, they may escape or new evidence comes to light and it turns out that the police have got the wrong person, and the killer is still at large.

What I’d like to see more of:

I prefer Crime Fiction novels to be much more conclusive, as this is much more satisfactory to me personally. I like the killer to be caught and brought to justice, and happiness/hope to be restored. I understand that not everybody likes a happy ending, but I just feel that novels with serial killers/multiple murders are dark enough as it is.

Coming away from a crime novel, in which the killer has been caught and everybody is celebrating, leaves me feeling so much happier and hopeful. It’s always nice to put down a book and have a smile on your face, rather than put down a book still feeling scared or anxious, or just like the story is incomplete.










Happy reading 🙂

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