People power changes the world.
I strongly believe that politicians and world leaders, rulers and despots eventually have to acquiesce to people power. Politicians erected the Berlin Wall; people pulled it down. Slavery was abolished because people thought it was morally wrong. Politicians imprisoned Nelson Mandela but people power forced his release and the end of apartheid. Politicians created segregation in America but the civil rights movement forced the change. Women were granted the vote because people argued it was the right thing to do.
In short, the world is changed Bottom-Up not Top-Down.
For proof of this, ask Al Gore. He has tried for 30 years to influence politicians like himself to bring about the changes needed to save the world. Now he has realised that it will be people power that will force the politicians to listen to the arguments about climate change.
So how to mobilise people power? There is greater opportunity today with social media and internet technology to spark the debate. But the messages have to be clear and the facts must be correct and easily digestible.
This is how crime fiction can help, in its various forms: books, films, TV serials, social media, audio, etc.
Why Crime Fiction?
Crime fiction offers mass appeal. The Da Vinci Code sold 80 million copies in 44 languages and grossed over $200m at the box office. It sparked a global debate about the Holy Grail and the Roman Catholic Church.
John le Carre’s novel and subsequent film, The Constant Gardener, about the unethical activities of a pharmaceutical company in Africa was based loosely on a true story. Again it achieved mass appeal and sparked a worldwide debate.
For a crime fiction novel to stimulate such global interest, I believe it must be well researched, written in an engaging, fast-paced style and encapsulate the three key ingredients of the crime fiction genre: