Am I the only one who dislikes all the gory detail typically written into a murder scene? Descriptions like: ‘the bullets cleaved the victims arm,’ or maybe, ‘the machete severed the mans head,’ or what about, ‘the crossbows arrow ripped through the woman’s gullet.’ And believe me, there are writers who can describe murder scene’s in such a way as to shock in greater detail than I ever could.
It’s just not me. Too morbid. Too gruesome. Too negative.
Guess my writing doesn’t have shock appeal. Still, I can’t help but wonder about a readers need or desire for such description…does a shocking (macabre, morbid, ghoulish) narrative create further enjoyment for mystery/thriller readers? Yes! I think it does for some readers. Those readers make up more of the ‘thriller’ side of the genre. Here’s how David Morrell, http://www.davidmorrell.net/, author of about 28 thrillers, defined the mystery/thriller difference several years ago. He said: “Traditional mysteries appeal primarily to the mind and emphasize the logical solution to a puzzle. In contrast, thrillers strive for heightened emotions and emphasize the sensations of what might be called an obstacle race and a scavenger hunt.” (Jodie Renner blogpost)
Again, I must say, the elements of a gory scene is just ‘not me.’ Too negative.
What’s entertaining to me is the science, for lack of a better word, that goes into the investigative process. Very few Sherlock Holmes cases contained the ‘morbid details’ of a murder or someone found dead or dying. It was Holmes’ reasoning skills, his ‘deductive process’ that carried the story. The storyline worked well or Doyle (the Holmes creator) would not have enjoyed such monumental success…lasting over 100 years.
‘FORGIVEN,’ case 1 of ‘The Mystery Maxims of Jake Spade,’ falls into the mystery genre…not the thriller genre. It’s a modern day Holmes story with a ‘whodunit’ lasting throughout, until the end. The final discovery surprises the reader…and…it falls incredibly inline with how Sherlock Holmes would have handled the case. After all, when you’re a blood descendent of the Great Master (like great-great-great grandson Jake) there exists no other resolution. Jake remedied the mystery in a fashion that would have made Sherlock proud.
If you have not read this novella-length book then consider picking it up the next time you’re on Amazon (it’s exclusively there). You’ll be surprised how it ends (some have said it was touching).
Many Regards, Henry H.H. Hittlebloome, Author