Sunday, 23 April 2017

Thriller Tropes I Could Do Without

It’s no secret that I’m a massive fan of crime/thrillers. Anything dark, creepy, and fast-paced automatically catches my attention and the chances are, I’m going to read anything that is labelled as such. Recently though, in my quest to figure out why I enjoy thrillers so much, I’ve been noticing the things that really irk me when they’re included in a crime/thriller book.

1. Main female character has a thing for the main male detective

This main female character is usually another detective, secondary in the novel and secondary to the main male detective. At some point, either before or during the book, she just cannot quash her feelings for the tall, dark, and questionable (see below) and probably ends up having a one night stand with him that everyone’s then embarrassed about.

E.g. Ragdoll by Daniel Cole, I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

2. Female detective is at the top of her game (yay!) but is a cold, heartless bitch who neglects her family (no.)

This one is one of the most annoying, because when a female character who is a superior in her job I can’t help but say “yes, finally!”. And then, after a few short moments with this character, it turns out that she has a heart of stone, is ruthlessly uncompromising, and is an absent mother.

Just once, I’d like to read a book with a female Chief Inspector who has a very wholesome relationship with her children despite having succeeded in her career.

E.g. I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

3. Main detective is tall, dark, and morally ambiguous

I’m looking at you, Wolf from Daniel Cole’s Ragdoll. Wolf is the shadiest detective I’ve ever read about and it’s incredibly unlikely that, after what he did, he would ever be allowed to be a detective ever again. But hey, it’s all about the mysteriousness with these guys!

E.g. Ragdoll by Daniel Cole, Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
4. Female protagonist has mental health issues and is therefore unreliable

Oh so many cases of this. The recent phenomenon of grip-lit has really run with this trope and I just want it to stop. Whilst I appreciate accurate representations of people dealing with mental health issues, in grip-lit it’s used enormously as a plot device as a way to invalidate their narrative.

E.g. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
What tropes are you not a fan of? What do you think of the ones I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments below!
Happy reading,