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Motive, means, opportunity

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I’ve been writing and thinking about the rules of detective fiction recently, which prompted two different lines of thought.

1) Classic detective fiction – Holmes, Poirot, Marple plus noir cinema/literary detectives. So many of them aren’t actually police, or have dodgy relationships with authority.

2) The modern “buddy cop” (eg Bones) or “lone cop” (eg Prime Suspect…If I remember correctly anyway…don’t think she had a sidekick? Maybe it was just a forgettable one?) dramas, where the emphasis is much more on working within the system, or at least, belonging to it.

Is this a more authoritarian age? Or are we just fascinated with people in jackets with FBI written on the back? Is it that they get to have guns? While a gun-toting maniac working outside the law like Holmes nowadays might make you think Waco?

In terms of modern crime fiction, I don’t read much of it (maybe the odd PD James), but I’d be interested to. Any recommendations?


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