It seems odd indeed that even the mildest mannered of us love to read about murder and mayhem. Those who shrink from killing a spider and recoil in horror when the cat brings in yet another partially disembowelled offering will think nothing of picking up a crime novel to ‘relax’.
Crime is the best-selling genre in fiction and according to a survey four out of five books borrowed from libraries in the United Kingdom are thrillers or detective fiction. Why is that do you think? Is there a hidden serial killer deep within us all? Are we all one leylandii away from bashing our neighbours over the head with a shovel and burying them under the patio? Possibly. Best not to go there, you may not like what you find.
One reason may be the range of crime fiction available. The murky side of the seedy streets is very broad church (or do I mean Broadchurch?) There is indeed something for everyone. One can chose the gritty realism of the American police procedural which never shrinks from the detail of crime or autopsy and whose detectives tend to overshare regarding their own turbulent sexual escapades – or the cosy period charm of Miss Marple and her fluffy knitting and tutting over the arsenic.