... readers expect a comforting restoration of order at the end of every novel - and they usually get it.Lists of suspects are shorter, forensic testing simpler and the detectives involved enjoy much more dramatic lives than their real life counterparts. Porter says:
Work on a "true crime" book, you might think, would offer a writer the opportunity to ditch these fantasies and embrace the dreary essentials of "real life". But true-crime writers still have to entertain readers. They therefore find themselves drawn to transgressions that most resemble the material of crime fiction - stories featuring "hearts full of passion, jealousy and hate" ... Real life does throw up such narratives, but only occasionally. Murder stories are more commonly either banal and sad or so bizarre and dysfunctional as to appear entirely unbelievable.And really she should know: her new book Written on the Skin is a behind-the-scenes look at the forensics of police detective work, which this review from New Scientist describes as:
A bedtime book only if your intellectual curiosity can override your dismay and discomfort.If fiction's still more your thing, this list at Award Annals is a good starting point.