Sunday, 12 August 2018

Chuckles Chat #77 Scenarios We Love And Hate About Crime

Welcome to Chuckles Chat where great blogging minds unite to discuss the topics of the day mainly in the book and blogging world. I'll be sharing my thoughts on a topic and then inviting you all to share your thoughts. It's ok to disagree but PLEASE be respectful of each other's views! All of the comments on my blog are moderated and offensive posts ie racist, bigoted will not be published! 

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Over the previous weeks I've been looking at our book buying life. By this what I mean is, what are the scenarios in a book blurb that make us really want to pick up that book and start reading? What do we love about the genre and what puts us off? This is my final post on the subject and I'm looking at crime novels.

As a kid I was addicted to reading about child detectives and when I started reading horror, I might have read the odd crime one, though I never took to them. My first real foray into crime came when I was doing night shifts and I reluctantly agreed to trade books with my supervisor halfway through a shift, giving her my Richard Laymon book and she gave me James Patterson's Jack And Jill. I loved it and devoured the other three books from the airport shop that were available. (I did stop reading them after I disliked books 6 and 7) After that, I started to try other crime authors, enjoying Jeffrey Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme books and the odd one like Fear Itself by Jonathan Nasaw, Linwood Barclay's No Time For Goodbye and Patricia Highsmith's Ripley books.

However I quickly discovered that I wasn't really a fan of crime novels in general and I did try a lot of popular authors like Jo Nesbo, Karen Slaughter, Patricia Cornwell, PD James, Karen Rose, Mo Hayder, Harlen Coben, Robert Galbraith, Nicci French, Kathy Reichs, Stieg Larsson and Sophie Hannah. I didn't do well with these books and DNFed them. I just didn't connect with them at all. I never got round to reading CJ Sansom or Lisa Gardner and some of their plots sound interesting. I might also be tempted by more of Linwood Barclay. 

I think what I found difficult to stay interested in was the constant interviewing of witnesses and police procedure. The books I did enjoy were different from that. They focused on the characters and the killers, drawing both together with emphasis on catching the bad guy without going in depth into every bit of the investigation. Fear Itself had the private life of the killer who loved his own family, and the health issues of the investigators hunting him down. I liked that a victim died in a way dictated by their phobias. In the Ripley books, we see everything from his side of things and I love that I find myself rooting for a sophisticated sociopath to get away with murder! Lincoln Rhyme conducts his investigations from his bed in the first book, so only the relevant things from the investigation get brought back to him, keeping the story moving and the books don't get over descriptive. 

I think my real issue is that I don't have the time to plough through things I don't like to find the few that I do. I don't feel that it's a good way to spend my time as the success rate is low! I think I might do better with the mystery thriller side of things or where the focus is on the events and not the investigation itself.

Do you read crime novels? Who are your favourite authors in the genre and which do you not enjoy? What scenarios do you like and dislike?

6 comments:

  1. I like to read crime fiction every once in awhile, but only if the plot interests me, because I do get a little tired of police procedure. It can really slow down a read. Although I did end of liking most of Kristina Ohlsson's crime novels, and I've also liked the two Richard Montanari books I've read. But as a rule, I don't read a ton police procedurals. :)

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    1. Yeah if it gets too repetitive with the police stuff I can quickly lose interest. I like seeing the plots unfold with little imput from the police!

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  2. I enjoy crime fiction and tend to prefer the more noir-ish stories like Pascal Garnier though classic crime stories like Sjowall and Wahloo are good so long as I don't try to read too many too close together.

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    1. It's easy to burn out on a genre if we read a lot of books in the same one back to back, isn't it!

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  3. I'm kind of like that with science fiction There's some that I've really liked but it's really not my usual genre and I very rarely feel the urge to wade through all the sci fi books I don't care for to find the few that I do. I've read some of the authors you mention and have mixed feelings about most of them. PD James can be really good but she can also be not so much and I really only enjoyed the early Patricia Cornwalls. I really do want to try Linwood Barclay though.

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    1. I'm like that with SF, fantasy and YA! I get a better return in the horror and apocalypse genres, liking more than I hate. I read that one Linwood Barclay but I was skimming it as I had to return it to a library but it seemed a good read so I'd like to give it another go!

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