Thursday, April 5, 2012

Crime Scene - The Boy in the Attic - Crimes against our Children

New Post for www.writing.ie Crime Scene

Writing about crime, fictional or real-life, carries with it a responsibility. A responsibility which is inherent in all good writing, the search to write a truth. Violent crimes are emotive and disturbing, especially when the innocent victim is a young adult, or a child. We ask ourselves why and how this can happen? But the questions multiply again, when the person, or persons, who committed the crime, are little more than children themselves.  To read more click...... HERE

Other related Crime Scene posts for March 2012

Why are we so interested in Crime? HERE

The explosion of Irish Crime Fiction/New Crime Scene Book Club HERE

Getting inside the Killer Head, with Frances de Plino HERE

Mel Sherrat talks about her novel, 'Taunting the Dead' HERE


  1. Really interesting Louise. I went back to the 'Why are we so interested in crime' one, and whilst I am not fond at all of David Canter, I found your words insightful, particularly;

    For the most part, really great crime novels explore humanity, the light and shade of life, through good characterisation of victim, hero, the forces of good and bad around us, and the events and emotions caught within the parameters of a fictional world. It is not real life, but it is another means by which creatively, we can explore ourselves.

    Spot on. The crime and consequences in crime novels are very rarely the crime and consequences I knew during my police career. When all that you mention above is very, very good I can almost forget that.

    But I do find truly great crime novels - outside of the classics - vanishingly rare. You must give me somewhere to look!

    1. Hopefully Titus, I might direct you to Red Ribbons some day soon as an example of a great crime novel. But you are absolutely right, fictional crime, and reality can be polls apart. In part I think this is because through reading crime, along with trying to get a handle on it, we seek answers, checks and balances, the scales of justice served, which sadly is not always the case in real life.

  2. don't think, at the moment I could read Boy in the Attic, had missed that story about the 5 year old in south london and would prefer to have stayed missing it. There's so much violence and ugliness in the world and the worst of it comes when visited on the innocent who had done nothing to deserve it - and I suppose It's only now that I have some slight idea of what it would be like as a parent, that I think every experience of this is one too many, real or fictional, so i'd be steering clear, it'd make me too miserable!! (And probably hyper worrisome and protective) Call me a wooss if you must!!

    1. Hi Niamh - I know exactly what you mean. Everything about the risks to children heighten when they become part of your own life. The reality out there is frightening, and sometimes it is easier to have just a heightened awareness. But these stories exist, and like all truths, should not be completely avoided as by not addressing them in the public domain, we send them to a place of secrecy which unfortunately, we are far too good at in this country on times. And you ain't no wooss, just a loving Mom, and that role is one of the hardest of all.


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