Louise, from Chapter and Verse, tells us about her experience with true crime…

Read All About It

true crimeI’ve just read (and loved) The Girls by Emma Cline*, and like so many books you see now, it’s loosely based on / inspired by a real crime, and thus more-or-less fits in to the “true crime” genre.

I was at a debut crime writers’ talk the other day and one of the books was based (also loosely, for legal reasons) on the Slenderman stabbing of 2014. It’s called The Tall Man.

And there’s heaps and heaps of true crime lit now.

A Criminal Tendency?

I’m not much of a crime reader in general, I’ll confess. I don’t have much appetite for a genre that seems to be largely about women being assaulted and murdered, but The Girls was so good, I might have to revise my opinion. I’m never sure about “inspired by” stories, or those that actually try to re-tell real crimes. There’s something about it that seems voyeuristic. Of course, as with The Girls, often it’s removed enough to be a different story, and to be about more than the crime at hand.

What does it mean, though, for us to want to consume the sufferings of others? Like many other people, I’ve watched Making a Murderer on Netflix. I love documentaries – but the idea of a documentary is to inform, no? How do we feel about true crime books that are written to entertain?

I honestly don’t know the answer, but it does make me uneasy. Particularly because those I have read I’ve enjoyed so much. Why should enjoying fictionalised true crime be any worse than enjoying a crime novel that has nothing to do with the “real world”?

Something to chew over. (Or should that be “over which to chew”?)

Any thoughts, please get in touch.

true crime 2

*Look out for a review on Chapter and Verse.

By |July 9th, 2018|Categories: Latest News|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on TRUE CRIME, ALL THE TIME

About the Author:

Nick is a freelance proofreader and copy-editor who has worked for Chapterhouse for about as long as he can remember. He is the co-founder of Court Oak Tutors, and is very fond of Percy Pigs.