We do women no favours if we discount their violence, their crimes or the great damage we can do and only see them as victims. More importantly we compound the damage they have done to their victims. We, however also do wrong if we don't take into account the fact that we live in a society where it is all to easy for impressionable, vulnerable women to be manipulated by older, more powerful men. My answer to the question that we should never be asking, if these women are victims or villian, is instead to let go of the pervasive "perfect victim," fallacy and accept that a great deal of the time, people can be both.
Category: Crime Fiction
TCFs Best Crime Fiction Books of 2022
In part two of our New Year episodes, we look at a run down of the best crime fiction books TCF has reviewed in 2022. Again, this is in no particulary order.
Better the Blood: A Crime Fiction Book set in New Zealand
The surface question of this book is "Who is killing these people?" but as a book of layers, readers who choose to dig down further find other questions, many of which will be uncomfortable. Like it's antipodean counterpart, Dust off the Bones, we are seeing an emergence in crime fiction of narrative which deeply engages with crime. Not just the crime that propels a reader to turn the page to find out who dun it. Rather crime that is rooted in great injustices, crimes of nations and states, crimes for which no one person can be jailed, so we can easily say justice is done and move on. Crimes which are so large, that they ripple throughout history, and on the level of time are still present, happening and, ongoing, before our very eyes.
The Butcher and The Wren: A Crime Fiction Book by Alaina Urquhart
What Urquhart does do though is give us a more rounded an believable serial killer for our protagonist to fight. She leaves aside the grandising of the serial killer as some kind of terrible, yet infalible not quite human figuer in the shadows, an inversion of the great man fallacy, and instead show us someone who is not as clever as he thinks, or wishes to be.
Interview with Jack Lutz
This week on a podcast only episode Mairi interviews Jack Lutz, author of London in Black, a near-future novel about crime and society in London after a biochemical attack. They talk crime fiction, London, names and flawed detectives.
London in Black: A Crime Fiction novel by Jack Lutz
Science Fiction and crime fiction make extremely potent mix, best exemplified in China Mieville's The City and The City. The combination of working out what has happened in the crime, and also unravelling world building to understand the culture and history of a future or different universe, means that a readers synapses will be firing more than normal, and the satisfaction of finding the solution to the crime, while understanding the implications of the sometimes extremely unusual context means the dopamine hit at the end is higher.
Death and the Conjuror: A Locked Room Mystery by Tom Mead
Mead's central charctor, John Spector, is the magician who helps the police unravel, this fiendishly difficult murder. As a conjuror he is perfectly placed to understand the art of illusion and distraction, and fits wonderfully well into the narrative. However, we learn little about who Spector is, and how he has come to be assisting the police, leading his presence to be essentailly the third mystery of the book.
Pride month bonus: The best crime podcasts and books with an LGBTIQ+ flavour
For LGBTIQ+ communties crime is too much of a reality. Across the globe queer people are more likely to be victims of crime, historically they have been more likely to be criminalised, and in many places the fear of imprisonment for being nothing more than who you really are is far, far too present. So in this post we are going to pinpoint some of the best podcasts and books TCF has reviewed over the last seventeen months which whether fiction or non-fiction have an LGBTIQ+ element.
Interview: Any Suiter Clark author of Girl, 11
This week Mairi sit's down with crime fiction author Amy Suiter-Clark to talk about the process of writing her debut Girl, 11, and many other things crime fiction, including why neither of them will ever light up a room.
Short Story: Nuts About You by Camilla Mcpherson
Until then, she and Hugo were just a summer fling. Exciting for her, because Hugo had looks and threw money around like no one’s business. Exciting for him because Carly, if not quite from the wrong side of the tracks, was definitely from a different station. Now Carly realised that, if she played her cards right – acted like she cared and moved fast – he might actually fall for her. She ran a hand gently through his clean, lemony hair.