This book offers a critically informed yet relaxed historical overview of the legal thriller, a unique contribution to crime fiction where most of the titles have been written by professionals such as lawyers and judges.
The legal thriller typically uses court trials as the suspense-creating background for presenting legal issues reflecting a wide range of concerns, from corporate conflicts to private concerns, all in a dramatic but highly informed manner. With authors primarily from the USA and the UK, the genre is one which nonetheless enjoys a global reading audience. As well as providing a survey of the legal thriller, this book takes a gender-focused approach to analyzing recently published titles within the field. It also argues for the fascination of the legal thriller both in the way its narrative pattern parallels that of an actual court trial, and by the way it reflects, frequently quite critically, the concerns of contemporary society.
Lars Ole Sauerberg is Professor of Literature in English at the University of Southern Denmark. He has written extensively on crime fiction, both academically and as the crime-fiction reviewer of Denmark's leading quality newspaper over the last 30 years. He is a founding member of the Danish Crime Academy.
Introduction.- Chapter 1. Law and literature.- Chapter 2. The Beginnings of a Success Story.- Chapter 3. American Post-World-War-Two Thrill-and-Ethics Trials.- Chapter 4. Genteel Jurisprudence.- Chapter 5. See You In Court (1).- Chapter 6. See You In Court (2).- See You In Court (3).- Conclusion.- Bibliography.