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Deviance in contemporary crime fiction

Deviance in contemporary crime fiction

Gregoriou, Christiana, 1978-

The author conducts case studies into crime series by James Patterson, Michael Connelly and Patricia Cornwell, and investigates the way in which these novelists correspondingly challenge linguistic norms, the boundaries of acceptable social behaviour, and the relevant generic conventions

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
Published Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007
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Statement of responsibility: Christiana Gregoriou
ISBN: 0230207219, 9780230207219
Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 166-174) and index.
Physical Description: xi, 178 p.
Series: Crime files
Subject: Literature.; Cultural studies; Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900; Literary theory; Deviant behavior in literature.; Connelly, Michael, 1956- Criticism and interpretation.; Patterson, James, 1947- Criticism and interpretation.; Fiction: general & literary; Ireland; United States of America, USA; Literary studies: c 1900 to c 2000; Society & culture: general; Cornwell, Patricia Daniels Criticism and interpretation.; Detective and mystery stories, American History and criticism.; Literature: history & criticism; United Kingdom, Great Britain; Fiction & related items; Literary essays
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. Askews and Holts. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Other formats: Also available in printed form ISBN 9780230003392


  1. Preface
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. Introduction: Narratology and Deviance
  4. Aims, material and method
  5. Narratology and deviance
  6. The structure of narratives
  7. Crime fiction as genre and as popular literature
  8. Outline of remaining contents
  9. Contemporary Crime Fiction: Constraints and Development
  10. Introduction
  11. Crime fiction: origins and development
  12. Rules, regularities and constraints
  13. Defining the crime fiction genre
  14. Rules and constraints
  15. Formulaic regularities
  16. What sort of an attraction does crime literature hold for its readers?
  17. Crime fiction reading as pleasure
  18. Crime fiction reading as an addiction
  19. Crime fiction and the notion of realism
  20. The genre as a mirror to society
  21. Challenging the masculinity, whiteness and straightness of the genre
  22. From private eye novel to police procedural
  23. Character in detective fiction
  24. The detective as the criminal's double
  25. Writers focusing on the murderer
  26. The future of crime fiction
  27. Linguistic Deviance: The Stylistics of Criminal Justification
  28. Introduction
  29. The stylistics of justification in contemporary crime fiction
  30. Contextualising the crime fiction extracts
  31. Stylisitc analysis of the extracts
  32. The study's conclusions
  33. A further investigation into the protrayal of the criminal mind in Patterson
  34. Contextualising the criminally-focalised extracts
  35. The poetics of the criminal mind
  36. The study's conclusions
  37. Social Deviance in Contemporary Crime Fiction
  38. Defining 'abnormal behaviour': the Connelly series
  39. The carnivalesque as social deviation in the genre
  40. Carnivals
  41. Carnivaleque
  42. The carnival of crime fiction
  43. Jungian archtypes
  44. Criminal archtypes
  45. Generic Deviance in Contemporary Crime Fiction
  46. On defining genre
  47. Wittgenstein's family resemblance theory
  48. The prototype approach to sense
  49. Defamiliarisation and genre
  50. The crime fiction genre
  51. Cornwell's generic form: a subgenre or a new genre?
  52. What constitutes generic deviance?
  53. Conclusion
  54. Book review
  55. Metafunctions of deviance
  56. Investigating deviance
  57. Writers on their work
  58. References
  59. Index

Author note

CHRISTIANA GREGORIOU is a Lecturer in English Language at the University of Leeds, UK. She has published several articles on deviance in crime fiction.


Christiana Gregoriou's book explores three aspects of deviance manipulated by contemporary crime fiction: linguistic, social, and generic. In detailed case studies of the work of James Patterson, Michael Connolly and Patricia Cornwell, Gregoriou investigates the ways in which crime fiction challenges linguistic norms, the boundaries of acceptable social behaviour, and generic conventions. Through the examination of recurrent criminal archetypes such as the monster, the vampire and the spoilt child, and also through analysis of the ways in which crime fiction can be seen as a version of 'carnival', this study attempts to redefine the boundaries of an endlessly fascinating genre.