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‘Ice-pick-sharp, packed with intrigue, action and spine-chilling suspense. Devour will keep you gripped from the very first page’ Kathryn Fox

Telling Truths: crime fiction and national allegory

October 18, 2012

I am over the moon today because I have been invited to present a paper at the University of Wollongong’s crime fiction convention on 6 – 8th December 2012. As a thriller author I will focus on how thrillers reveal the truth about global social, political and more recently environmental issues facing the world today. I will use Ian Rankin to frame how I see one of the key differences between thrillers and procedural crime fiction:

“In the crime novel it’s more of an internalised chase, one detective up against one individual, you’re very much inside the head of the detective and you’re fairly static, you’re not shifting all over the globe.
When you come to the thriller, what you tend to have is some kind of wide ranging conspiracy involving governments or terrorists, and you tend to have an ordinary person who’s thrown into this and has to try to make sense of it, so you get this externalised chase which goes all over the globe.”
Thrillers tend to tap into big picture, global issues which are key to the story and the hero must prevent the catastrophic event from happening or save people from a terrible injustice, be it the assassination of a U.S. president (David Baldacci’s The Innocent) or a pharmaceutical company experimenting on unsuspecting Africans (John Le Carre’s The Constant Gardener) or the exploitation of the world’s resources threatening the lives of millions (my own thriller, Thirst) or the abuse of women in Sweden (the Stieg Larsson Millennium Trilogy).

I will reveal how the underlying themes in thrillers reflect the fears of the time and why, perhaps, so many people choose to buy thrillers as a way of dealing with those fears.

To find out more about the convention, which is open to the public, please go to this site:

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