Psychological female-lit – the new big thing?

It’s become more and more apparent, in the couple of years since everyone was raving about Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, that the big new thing in crime fiction is, for want of a better expression, what I call “psychological female-lit” – mainly because I refuse to use the term chick-lit – it instantly drops the IQ of the conversation about 30 points. And make no mistake, readers, this is clever stuff, with plenty of misleading signposts, and (in the case of GG’s Amy and Nick, two possible unreliable narrators.) Also, with the release this week of a short trailer, which was pretty much silent, except for Charles Aznavour’s “She” playing in the background, the juggernaut that is going to be the GG movie started it’s engines. I cringed for Nick (played by Ben Affleck) when, while posing in front of his wife Amy’s “MISSING” poster, instead of looking like a mystified, bereft husband, he gave a cheesy grin. Cut to his sister looking as though she wants to put her head in her hands in despair. This film certainly appears to be in safe hands, with David Fincher (Se7en, The Social Network, House Of Cards) directing, and Rosamund Pike, perhaps surprisingly, winning the role of Amy, one which, if it were to be believed, every Hollywood actress who could pass for under 40, was coveting. As already mentioned, Ben Affleck plays opposite as Nick. It’ll certainly be on my “to see” list whenever it hits the UK – but with it opening in the US on October 3rd, who knows when that’ll be.

By the way, if any of you out there enjoyed Gone Girl but didn’t investigate Gillian Flynn further, you’ve missed out. But don’t worry – just buy/download her two previous novels, Dark Places and Sharp Objects. They are pretty close to being as satisfying as GG, though not as obviously commercial. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

As for me, I’m reading a preview copy of Sophie Hannah’s latest, The Telling Error, courtesy of Waterstones. Hannah’s been doing the psychological thriller-cum-police procedural for around 10 years now, and I’ve read every single one immediately it was released. In my next blog, I’m going to mention some of the better books I’ve read that fit into this sub-genre. Anyone out there who’s discovered this newly-hatched blog, and has any suggestions, either in this area, or indeed in ANYTHING to do with crime fiction, do comment.

Crime Fiction Blog

I’ve been a long time fan of crime fiction  – probably since finding tattered copies of “A Murder Is Announced” and “Halloween Party” in my family home, aged about 12. As my parents didn’t have the time or the energy to read more than a newspaper, due to the fact that they ran a 2000 acre hill farm as well as doing bed and breakfast, I suspect these Agatha Christie novels were left behind by one of these long forgotten guests. Whoever you were, I’d like to thank you (I think!) for instilling a lifelong love of murder most foul. I’ve flirted with other genres, but I always return to what I loosely term crime fiction – these aren’t, in my world, just whodunnits, or police procedurals – the term, for me, can also include spy fiction, historical crime fiction, psychological thrillers, some thrillers with a supernatural aspect – indeed, anything that will keep me reading, until I look at my watch and realise with horror it’s 3 am and I’m due up in 4-and-a-half hours!