Readers give true crime books the axe
Sunday 09 November 1997
Devotees of crime-writing are shying away from lurid, real-life exposes and opting instead for the fantasy world of whodunnits and thrillers. As a result, true crime literature - the factual genre which enjoyed a boom only three years ago - is now in serious decline. Indeed, publishers fear it may never recover.
While sales of crime fiction by popular novelists remain extremely buoyant, the titles which chronicle real stories of death and horror are hanging around on bookstore shelves gathering dust.
"True crime is the only section where our sales have gone down," says Maxim Jakubowski, the owner of the large specialist bookshop Murder One in Charing Cross Road, London.
"There is quite a small demand for our factual books nowadays, perhaps because they are viewed as somewhat exploitative. Too many publishers jumped on the bandwagon too soon."
In the past couple of years, the voracious public appetite for gangland biographies and detailed accounts of the lives of serial killers appears to have been sated. Some booksellers believe the slump is part of a moral and emotional response to recent highly publicised atrocities. After the Dunblane tragedy and the killings in Cromwell Street, it is argued, people have had more than enough of the brutal truth.
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 MH370: 'Putin ordered plane to be flown to Kazakhstan space port,' conspiracy theory claims
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin, says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - An outstanding senior opportunity for...
salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...