• Rod Kackley

Why is Crime Fiction So Hot, Most Popular in UK?

What is it about crime fiction that you love? Is it the thrill of brushing up against the world of crime that you’d never be able to, or want to, encounter in real life? Is it the fact that so much crime fiction comes from shocking true crime stories?

Do you want to see the good guy win at the end of every book knowing that can never happen in real life? Alternatively, is your favorite genre noir crime fiction where the good guy hardly ever wins, and you often have trouble figuring out which characters fall on either side of that line between good and evil?

Maybe is it just the puzzle you want; the mystery, that you want to solve before the main character of the book?

Whatever you are looking for, if crime fiction is your favorite, you are a member of a massive club. Nielsen BookScan data at the London book fair showed that crime novels in 2017, for the first time since Nielsen started keeping track of this kind of thing, crime fiction novels sold more than “general and literary fiction” in the UK.

One of the thriller writers who pushed the genre over the top, David Baldacci was quoted in the Guardian as saying crime fiction is so hot right now because:

“When times are stressful, and it looks like the bad is winning out over the good, along comes the genre of crime novels to put the balance back in life. People inherently don’t like folks who do bad to get away with it. In real life they do, all the time, because of a variety of factors. But in novels, evil is punished, and the good guys mostly win, after solving the puzzle. And all is right with the world. At least fictionally.”

As great an author as Baldacci is, I think the real reason, as in all works whether fact or fiction, for the popularity of a book is the story within its covers.

Nothing matters but the story, and crime fiction (and true crime) stories are my favorites.

What's your favorite genre of crime fiction and what do you love about it?

Looking forward to your comments


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