Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Maybe now, more than ever, the world needs crime fiction

by Rick Blechta

At this festive time of the year, we tend to look back at what’s happened since the previous end-of-year celebrations. It’s unavoidable, really, since everyone is feeling the wear and tear of getting through another 365 days. We need to make sense of where we’ve been and where we hope to go in the next year.

2017 was not a good year for the world. I’m sure I don’t need to enumerate all the bad things that happened (although certainly bad things happen every year), but I do want to single out one “trending” thing (to use a trendy term): criminal actions are becoming more and more “normalized” or even dismissed as being inconsequential.

Now it’s pretty obvious that the folks trying to accomplish this sea change in our perceptions are the guilty parties, so this movement is certainly self-serving to them, but it really is a frightening thing. Corporations do it. Government organizations do it (I’m thinking law enforcement here). And even politicians do it.

I don’t know about you, but watching happen this leaves me despairing. How can people be hoodwinked so easily? Why aren’t we standing up and waving our fists, marching in the streets, demanding that it stop? Wrong is slowly becoming right. Our world is being turned on its head.

And this is where crime fiction comes in. In the imaginary worlds of crime novels wrongs are righted, the guilty are discovered and brought to justice, and evil is vanquished — most of the time. I’ve often finished novels that I really wasn’t enjoying simply because I wanted to see the bad guy get it in the end. One of the hardest things to pull off in writing crime fiction is those plots where the bad guy gets away with his/her dastardly deed. I’ve read some darn good novels that have this sort of ending, and no matter how much I’ve enjoyed it, I somehow feel cheated in the end.

So as truth crumbles around us, I think people need more than ever the comfort of a world where this sort of thing faces a challenge and is ultimately overcome. We need a place where truth prevails!

We’re certainly not getting it currently in the real world.

1 comment:

Marianne Wheelaghan said...

Oh yes, I love crime fiction because I want to see justice done and the bad guys get their just deserts. I also hate it when the baddy wins, unless he or she is a good baddy ;)