Let’s start at the beginning by asking ourselves the questions: what is crime fiction and why choose to write it? The first question is perhaps the simplest of the two.
What is Crime Fiction?
Crime fiction is a genre of fiction which deals with crime. Obvious? It may be, but if we explore a little further it becomes less simple than we might imagine. If you asked the question: what are the central themes of crime fiction, you might come up with these themes: love, death and danger. The problem with that is that any type of mainstream fiction you might have read also deals with one or all of those themes.
Consider a Jacobean tragedy, for example: love, danger and death all apply. Yet a Jacobean tragedy is not a crime novel. The fact is that it is almost impossible to say when a crime novel is a crime novel and when it is not.
Bleak House by Charles Dickens is both a crime novel (it features one of the earliest of English detectives, Inspector Bucket!) but it also a mainstream novel. However, that does not prevent us from trying to define what crime fiction truly is.
There is a theory among psychiatrists that the crime novel is a literary vehicle which attempts to use reason to explain that which is irrational.
W. H. Auden believed that the murderer in a crime novel was a scapegoat figure who redeemed the Edenic community which is humanity. That may or may not be true. Yet it is true that the crime novel is also a literary form which has to do with guilt and its expiation.
The crime novel has suffered much at the hands of critics in the past, yet today it has come into its own as a form of what is essentially mainstream fiction. The crime novel also has to do — and this is especially true of contemporary crime novels — with the relationship between our conscious and unconscious selves, or what Freud defined as the ‘ego’ and the ‘id’.
Coming later on this year from Cunning Crime Books: Head Bangers, the new DCI Ketch novel about murder in the East Anglian Fenlands.
A Crime Thriller
by Kelvin I Jones
Mangled heads have been turning up all over Norfolk and the inhabitants of Korpusty are scared. Five murders in ten weeks, all committed with a hammer, and still nobody has a clue who the psychotic killer is.
Retired former DCI Ketch is an aged and dogged detective with a fondness for sex. He doesn’t know it yet but he is the only one who can stop the violent killer.
DCI Ketch, now semi-retired and profiler for the murder team, finds himself thrown into the centre of the investigation. His only real clue is an eerie, ancient poppet.
He enlists the help of his former sidekick, DCI Tim Mackenzie.
Can Mackenzie help Ketch overcome his addictions and find the answers before the manipulative killer and his deadly hammer strike again?
For a free download of Ch. 1 of the new novel, simply email your request to our website at www.cunningcrimebooks.co.uk
Kelvin I. Jones has been a prolific UK crime and supernatural fantasy writer for over a quarter of a century. Born in Kent in 1948, he is equally at home writing poetry, plays and novels. He has published six books about Sherlock Holmes and the only definitive study of Conan Doyle’s interest in spiritualism, as well as numerous articles about the Victorian detective (see R De Waal’s Universal Sherlock Holmes, online edition, 2000). Ed Hoch, the renowned American crime writer, has said of his Sherlockian work: “Kelvin I Jones reveals a sensibility and knowledge of 19th Century literature that extends far beyond the world of Sherlock Holmes.’ He is the author of the Stone Dead series, featuring the intrepid Cornish detective, John Bottrell, and the Inspector Ketch stories, which are set in Norfolk.
Recent publications: Sherlock Holmes: The Plagues of London, Sherlock Holmes: The Baskerville Papers, A Dogged Detective (DCI Ketch), A Grave For The Goddess (John Bottrell).