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Archive for the ‘1950s’ Category

SO BRILLIANTLY CLEVER

In 1950s, book, books, crime, crime story, murder, mystery, New Zealand, reader, real-life, teen, true, true crime, violence, writer on November 14, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Peter Graham new book is out. It is called, So Brilliantly Clever.

It is a true crime story that took place in 1950s New Zealand.

One of the teen perpetrators went on to become an acclaimed crime writer and a documentary was made about her life after the memorable event.

The comment made about the announcement of the book is what attracted my attention though and what made me write this post.

This is what the comment by Fred says, “Does all this attention to a long ago crime really serve any worthwhile purpose or is this just another example of exploitation for monetary gain?”

The key words here for me are: “serve any worthwhile purpose”.

It made me wonder about the general purpose of a book on true crime. What is it really for?

To inform the public? To make them more knowledgeable about the criminal mind? To dispel some misconceptions? To bring to light some new evidence or obscure facts about the perpetrator(s) or the victim(s)?

I cannot answer this question because I am not a true crime writer and don’t know anyone personally who is.

If you do or you are one, I would be happy to know your thoughts about this. Drop us a line.

The reason I used to read true crime books it was to discover more about the criminal mind and get to know more about the facts of a crime and the perpetrators, but I am a voracious reader of anything to do with criminal psychology. However, I have never read anything by a simple true crime writer.

All my true crime books had been written by criminologists and I have to say that aside from some comments to attract the middle-class readership, I have learnt a  pretty good deal, but never enough or a lot about a particular perpetrator.

Books, like any other art form, are subject to marketing, therefore they have to cater for a particular readership.

As I have often said in these pages, true crime writers, in my opinion, suck up to the middle-class who can’t cope with the idea of a human being committing such a serious crime and feel the need to keep a safe distance between themselves and the criminal in the ludicrous attempt to keep up the notion that only a certain type of person or group can act so savagely.

Now, the next question that this little paragraph brings to light is this, why is it that true crime writers’ goal is to please the middle-class?

Where do true crime writers come from?

I believe they come from all sorts of background, from police investigators to private detectives, from investigative journalists to criminologists. So how come their goal seems to be so similar?

This is the question I will try to answer in another post.

Crime Watch: So Brilliantly Clever: New Zealand author takes a detailed look at a decades-old crime.