Why is crime fiction so popular particularly with women?

I was recently asked this question by a journalist and although the percentage of women who read crime fiction is higher than men, I am pleased to say that I have both male and female readers of my crime and thriller novels.

So why are so many people drawn to reading crime fiction?

In crime fiction we know that justice will be done and the case will be resolved and that doesn’t always happen in real life. In crime fiction the villain either gets caught or gets his/her comeuppance but in real life the evil and manipulative, the guilty can get away with it as in the case of the unsolved murder in my own family in 1959. A man was charged for the murder of my great aunt but was acquitted at trial. The case was investigated by Scotland Yard and has never been re-opened leaving the family with a great big question mark over their lives. Crime fiction though can give us a resolution. It can also give us an insight into what makes people tick.

I am fascinated by personalities, behaviour and motivations and I like to bring this into my crime novels featuring my rugged and flawed detective, DI Andy Hortonand into my thriller novels, In Cold Daylight and In For The Kill.I’m probably the only person in the world who doesn’t mind the nutter sitting next to her on the bus. I’ll be thinking where and how can I weave this character into a crime novel.

The crime genre is popular because people are fascinated by people and crime fiction covers so many facets of human nature. The same goes for true crime. It’s a kind of voyeurism, the ghoul factor that causes people to stand and gawp at an accident or incident. Me though, I’m a real coward. I run a mile from reading true crime. Give me crime fiction any day where I can see that justice is served and my hero triumphs!

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Comment by B.R.Stateham on March 15, 2011 at 5:37am

I think a case could be made that there are only two kinds of people who love crime fiction;

1.  Those who are looking for heroes and for justice to reign over evil.

2.  Those who are fed up and want to 'stick it' to anything and everything that frustrate them.


But then again, as my wife constantly points out to me, I've been wrong before.

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