onsdag den 1. september 2010

School of Ghosts

[Though we have a fairly good camera, I could not capture them in a picture]

Superstition, ghosts, visions etc seem to be part of a rather strong trend within crime fiction right now.
In August I reviewed ten novels, and in four of them superstition and ghosts played a certain role:

My Soul to Take (Iceland)
The Coroner´s Lunch (Laos)
Aberystwyth Mon Amour (Wales)
True Murder (Ghana/Britain)

Personally, I think superstition can give a story local flavour, but in a proper crime novel the denouement should not depend on anything supernatural.

What do you think of the combination of crime and the supernatural?

11 kommentarer:

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Dorte - No, I shouldn't imagine you could capture ghosts on film : ). You raise a fascinating question, too, about ghosts, superstition and the like. I agree completely that they can add to a novel, but no, the solution of the crime should not depend on them. I like the way that was handled in My Soul to Take, actually. It's handled beautifully in Agatha Christie's short story, The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb.

Tim sagde ...

Don't forget Johan Theorin's The Darkest Room. I think Aberystwyth Mon Amour might be stretching it a bit though.

I'm looking forward to reading Cotterill shortly.

....Petty Witter sagde ...

I think crime and superstition can combine to make a fairly readable crime novel but I agree that they are not the best of bed-fellows.

Louise sagde ...

I think that elements of ghosts and supernatural phenomena are okay in mysteries. But I want them to have a logic explanation when the detective/protagonist gets deeper into the case. Otherwise I'd read a ghost/vampire/supernatural book.

Oh, and Dorte, I laughed when I read your comment on my post of All the Colours of Darkness. Just seems like you and I and Peter Robinson never find the tune, huh? Anyway, pick up some of his middle books (in English). They ARE good!

BookPlease sagde ...

I love both crime fiction and books about the supernatural but prefer them unmixed. Does Hound of the Baskervilles count as a mix of the two? I did like that one.

Maxine sagde ...

I don't like books about the supernatural. I once read a crime novel by Greg Isles (Iles?) but did not like it for that reason, the solution felt like a cheat. The supernatural themes have put me off reading "Let the Right One In" and Sarah Waters's recent novel whose title escapes me for the moment, but the one about the house and the doctor.

I wrote before in a similar debate, that I have no objection to the 'unexplained' in a novel, but I like things to be 'explainable' in principle, without resorting to supernatural, fantasy, etc explanations.

Dorte H sagde ...

I knew you would all agree with me here!

But what do I do now with the long story I wrote for you this afternoon? - I am afraid I am going to break the rule terribly ;D

Well, you asked for it!

Kelly sagde ...

Well, I won't offer an opinion. I'll just wait for the story and see what I think! I bet I'll like it!

Dorte H sagde ...

Kelly: oh, what did I do to deserve such loyal readers? :D

Beth F sagde ...

A little supernatural is fun sometimes, but I agree that the solution to a mystery should be solidly in this world.

Dorte H sagde ...

Beth: exactly!