It is only when we get to the higher understanding that most people, most organisations, are neither wholly good, or wholly bad, that we can transcend some of these entrenched issues and see things clearly. One thing can be very bad for some people, and positive for others. Neither negates the other, they both just... are.
All books reviewed on the blog are availible to buy at the TCF bookshop where profits go to support independent bookshops and help keep the podcast running. For most people, losing a loved one to a violent murder is probably the worst thing we could imagine happening to ourselves or anyone we know. Even thinking …
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.
Mairi rounds up the best true crime podcasts which passed over TCFs desk in 2022.
The Coombs case indeed throws up a mirror to our apparently more modern age, where we consider ourselves to have more understanding. The Wicked Boy however does not lead one to the satisfactory conclusion that we would react differently now-a-days because we are so much more knowledgeable and clever. Instead it shows us that despite the great advances we've made both socially and in technology, once you scratch the surface the human reaction to children committing murder is the same tumultuous mix of shock, horror, pity, and disbelief, accompanied by the kind of wild blame seeking and judgement that speaks more of calming anxiety than the search for true understanding.
The human centre Sounes gives us is much needed to provide depth, tone and heart. If we take only one approach, analysis without heart, or heart without analysis, we risk losing something important, the je ne sais quo, of what was happening in Gloucester and the terrible chemistry between Fred and Rose.
In the content creating world which is bent towards crime, murder is always considered the worst. Most cultures and civilisations have always done so, although some may disagree with the concept of all murders being bad, given how throughout history there have always been some lives considered less. However, there is genearlly agreement that murder …
It is not just the effects on the soul that Dundass has got right, it's also the othering and dislike of disability from society. At the heart of HellSans is the unspoken question that all those with disability come to ask themselves sooner or later "Is it me who is disabled, or is the real disability societies inability to cope with differnece."
This is not the only time we see this behaviour, as wherever the cold clamy hand of colonialisim has touched, we find "experiments" of this sort, from the forced assimilation of Australian Aboriginals, to cutting First Nations People from their land and placing their children in residential school, we see this pattern repeated across history and continents.
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.