Crime novels are written for entertainment.
The stories are more about people than crime. They are a way of exploring human behaviour.
Crime stories allow us to look at why people commit acts, like murder, and at the impact of those acts on others, especially the people tasked with bringing the perpetrators to justice.
Crime novels might allow us to understand why someone committed a crime, but they also provide us with a reassurance that crimes can be solved.
Crime stories, especially murder mysteries, are also a bit of a game between authors and readers.
An author wants to keep the suspense and mystery going to draw readers into the story. Readers not only want to be drawn into a story, they also want to work out who did it before the author reveals the identity of the killer.
The author has the advantage at the start, but needs to be careful not to give the game away too early. Readers need to be wary of the difference between genuine clues and red herrings to avoid being led down the garden path.
The fun for both parties is in revealing the identity of the villain towards the end of the story. That way, the author gets to tell the story and readers get to find out if they’ve solved the crime along with the investigating detective.
Crime novels allow us to walk on the dark side of the street from the safety of our favourite reading spot.
Inspector West is nearly ready to entertain you again in a story of murder, arson and revenge.
Peter Mulraney is a creative writer from Australia. He is the author of the Inspector West crime series, the Living Alone series of self-help books for men, Sharing the Journey: Reflections of a Reluctant Mystic, The New Girlfriend and Everyday Project Management.