Friday, December 29, 2017

Allure of Crime Fiction

At every turn he is thwarted. The consequences thicken, the stakes rise.


After having just finished season one of Ozark on Netflix, and comparing it to Breaking Bad, I wonder what is the allure of crime fiction.

The allure of crime fiction is to fall vicariously under an overwhelming force that sweeps you away.


It’s like tumbling in the rough sand as the ocean wave recedes across your back. The protagonist in a crime story makes a choice to be bad, but in the fashion of a flawed hero, the motive is worthy. A protagonist is not seeking to be a criminal for the adventure and allure of the lifestyle. Maybe the protagonist needs money to secure the future of his family. Perhaps the hero did not ask to become a criminal but outside forces enlisted him. He plummets down the ravine and tries desperately to cling onto any branch of hope. The hero fights the criminal force, but all about him things grow from bad to worse. People die violent deaths and loved ones are threatened.

When an ordinary person gets involved in crime it’s like falling down the well.



But always hope remains alive. The hero will escape and his life will return to normal, if only . . .

At every turn he is thwarted. The consequences thicken, the stakes rise.

Crime is a force greater than the individual. Getting caught up in it, usually because money is needed, is to be swept into a current that carries one along like driftwood, descending rapids, bouncing off rocks, rushing ultimately toward unavoidable death

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