Family Relationships in Contemporary Crime Fiction


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Behind every crime novel there is a family. The author’s, the hero’s (or the heroine’s), and that of the villains themselves. Some families organise themselves into crime syndicates, controlling drugs, prostitution and illegal gambling. Others are simply dysfunctional, tearing themselves apart, fathers against sons, mothers against daughters, sisters against brothers, husbands against wives. Not everyone escapes alive. However, families do not exist in a vacuum. They are an important part of our society—for many, one of its most essential building blocks. That being said, society itself can impinge disastrously on personal relationships. War, that greatest of crimes, leaves children bereft of parents. Generations of children are stolen by cynical, racist administrators in supposedly civilised countries. Religion requires its followers to flourish and multiply, while abandoning all—including family—for their faith. All of these issues and more are explored in this collection of essays about crime fiction and the family.

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