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The Attraction of Crime Fiction


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I find that I have been reading more and more crime and horror fiction recently (the past 5 years or so). I think I chose these books at least partially because of the general lack of romance. With that lack of romance I find that the characters were relatable and had interesting storylines. The astute driven flawed work-aholic detectives or the initially confused but intelligent and resourceful protagonists. The sly snippets of the criminals or beasts to add intrigue, suspension or clues. The long guessing game to a climactic situation. 

I am not saying that these genres are better than any others, and I am sure there are some books in these genres which have high romantic content. I just seem to feel more relaxed reading these books with a certain surety that romance is not going to invade the series. Most of the books in these genres are episodic to a point, each book in the series has the possibility of being read somewhat as a stand-alone story as character development generally has only a small part to do with the overall plot. I have had bad experiences with book series before in the fantasy crossover of genres which seems to have pushed me to the more real-world serial killer works and creature based pulp horror. I find it is a relief to read about emotionless killers, be they humans, sharks or flies, so I don't have to worry about major romance sneaking in. Maybe my reading choices are a reaction to the pervasiveness of romance in the rest of the media surrounding me or part of my own morbid curiosity. 

 

I guess what I am getting at in my ramble is: is anyone else more comfortable reading about characters who tend not to express emotions (I guess besides anger) to avoid most other emotions and their shrapnel, and especially to avoid romance?

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I look back at the crime fiction I've read and I feel like there was a fair amount of romance in that. The side stories from the crime were frequently romantic. The investigators falling in love with each other or having relationship problems.

 

If I want to avoid romance I'm more likely to look for books told from kids perspectives. They seem to be the safest card for that. I don't dislike romance though, as long as there are other interesting conflicts in the story too.

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On 19/11/2017 at 10:29 PM, Holmbo said:

I look back at the crime fiction I've read and I feel like there was a fair amount of romance in that.

There are a certain type of crime book that have romance throughout, the sort of (generally female) amateur sleuth are generally the worst for that. Those sorts of books though are sort of a thriller version of a Barbara Cartland, even if the whodunnit has a twist the rest of the storylines become predictable. Romance in books generally bugs me only when it is going well, so if the side story is about investigators having relationship problems I generally don't really see it as romance per se, more like any serious issues BFFs or non-loving people with shared children might have. They are relationship woes but most of what I have read recently would be a far stretch to call romance.

 

I'll have to remember about the children's perspective books. I know I have a few in my library. I think I must have read some that were bordering on Young Adult as I remember there were all sorts of romance themed side plots about the parent's or older sibling's relationships. 

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On 2017-11-23 at 5:50 AM, Apathetic Echidna said:

 

I'll have to remember about the children's perspective books. I know I have a few in my library. I think I must have read some that were bordering on Young Adult as I remember there were all sorts of romance themed side plots about the parent's or older sibling's relationships. 

 


Yes sometimes they have romance. Here's some tips with ones without romance:
Room, by  Emma Donoghue. A kid and his mother live in a room which they never leave. Why is this? We don't know because the kid doesn't know, but he's about to find out.
Goodnight Mister Tom and Back Home, by Michelle Magorian. Two great books, both about British children whose lives are changed by world war two.
The Girls With All The Gifts by M R Carrey. About a girl named Melanie who seems to be living in a very strange situation which we learn more about as she does. This one has a bit of romance at the side but nothing intrusive.

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@Holmbo I remember reading Goodnight Mister Tom! and Room was made into a movie recently wasn't it? 

I just started another crime book though so the others will have to wait. This latest crime book has the love interest dying in the first chapter so I am just hoping there are no flashbacks and it turns into a raging revenge story. 

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19 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

@Holmbo I remember reading Goodnight Mister Tom! and Room was made into a movie recently wasn't it? 

I just started another crime book though so the others will have to wait. This latest crime book has the love interest dying in the first chapter so I am just hoping there are no flashbacks and it turns into a raging revenge story. 


Yes there is a Room movie too, it's good as well.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that the love interest was only there to be a redshirt then ;)

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On 29/11/2017 at 6:24 AM, Holmbo said:

was only there to be a redshirt then ;)

I have never heard that phrase before.

Also, sadly no. Finished the book this morning because I had to skip a couple of chapters worth of sickening feeling internal monologues and one romanticised sex scene. The cover said "Fans of Tess Gerritsen will love Allison Brennan" HA! no! It would have been an okay story if it hadn't turned into 'repressed FBI agent getting in touch with her heteroromantic side because she is attracted to a co-worker'. I should have been tipped off by the fact it was a female protagonist, it has to be a pretty special author to have a lone female or female only team leading a story and not getting romantic. Thank goodness I still have a Robin Cook to read, he can't write romantic discovery or happy romance to save his life. 

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On 2017-11-30 at 8:56 AM, Apathetic Echidna said:

I have never heard that phrase before.

Redshirt is a term for a character who's just there to be killed of to up the stakes for the main characters.

On 2017-11-30 at 8:56 AM, Apathetic Echidna said:

Also, sadly no. Finished the book this morning because I had to skip a couple of chapters worth of sickening feeling internal monologues and one romanticised sex scene. The cover said "Fans of Tess Gerritsen will love Allison Brennan" HA! no! It would have been an okay story if it hadn't turned into 'repressed FBI agent getting in touch with her heteroromantic side because she is attracted to a co-worker'. I should have been tipped off by the fact it was a female protagonist, it has to be a pretty special author to have a lone female or female only team leading a story and not getting romantic. Thank goodness I still have a Robin Cook to read, he can't write romantic discovery or happy romance to save his life. 

Too bad.

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