Re: RARA-AVIS: Moratorium on serial murderer mysteries?

From: jacquesdebierue (
Date: 16 Aug 2010

  • Next message: Patrick Kennedy: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Moratorium on serial murderer mysteries?"

    --- In, "gsp.schoo@..." <gsp.schoo@...> wrote:
    > When they became formulaic serial-killer yarns are more about spooks and monsters than noir and/or hardboil. Anyway, when anything becomes a formula it's time to move on. Even babies outgrow formulas.

    I can see why the formula is attractive. You can have a bad guy who is as bad as you want him (or her) to be, practically without limit. And since these types are usually crazy as well (in some sense), they can also do absurd things that in a normal plot would stand out as clunkers. The hero is also automatically heroic, since he is fighint the most awfully evil enemy imaginable. My problem is that these books usually lack subtlety in the cast of characters. It's a ready made chase, maybe with shifting points of view (Connelly has done this with The Poet and the sequel much later) to create some suspense... but essentially, you are letting loose a guy to commit a bunch of atrocities and finally be stopped in some way. The psychology doesn't help move things along, in my opinion, and the flashbacks... please, I've read enough of those.

    Moratorium on flashbacks, too? James Lee Burke used a huge number of them, as I recall.



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