Thrillers with a Social Conscience - Changing the World Through Crime Fiction
I set off to write a series of crime fiction novels under the title, The Human Spirit Series. The idea was to celebrate how we have progressed as a species and made the world a better place over the last two hundred years using scientific discoveries and technological advancement. The books would be positive, upbeat and would leave the reader entertained and inspired. Good will always prevail over Evil and the baddies will get their comeuppance.
In addition I wanted to explore our staccato approach to that progress. We now know more than we have ever known yet there is so much more to learn. We have an innate curiosity; an appetite for learning and discovery which has created vast improvements in the quality of our lives and even in life expectancy itself.
But we have inherent human failings that get in the way of progress and, to some extent, are holding us back. Despite all the advancement, the big questions remain:
Why isn’t there a cure for cancer? How do we end world poverty? What will eradicate the destructive nature of addictive thinking and behaviour? How will we feed 9 billion people without destroying our precious planet?
Why Crime Fiction?
I love crime fiction!! Fast paced, action packed, page turning adventure books that transport the reader out of the every-day and into a world where anything can happen. It stretches the imagination and makes the impossible seem achievable. It also keeps the reader on their toes with the various twists and turns in the plot.
My heroes are the writers of thrillers where the problems are solved by intellect and reasoning, or teamwork and intuition, rather than by high powered weaponry or brute force. My shelves are full of books by John le Carre, Dan Brown, Jo Nesbo, Michael Robotham, Stella Rimmington, Hugh Howey, Camilla Lackberg and Peter May, among many others.
Crime fiction enables the author to put fictional characters into real world situations. The characters can then say the things that need to be said. Also, using true-life stories, the basis of truth is already established. Then, with extensive research to back up the storylines, it is possible to create solutions to real-world problems that would be entirely credible.
The other big advantage is that these are works of fiction – they are not intended to be text books. But they allow the big questions to be asked and can challenge the status quo, with the intention of sparking a debate.
So why hasn’t the World Health Organisation offered a substantial prize to anyone who can identify a scientifically proven cure for cancer? I’d love to ask them. Crime fiction allows that question to be asked without the author being ridiculed for their lack of medical training.