The Language of Suspense in Crime Fiction

A Linguistic Stylistic Approach

Authors: Dutta-Flanders, Reshmi

  • Offers an interdisciplinary perspective on how criminality is presented in a criminal narrative
  • Addresses recent advances and interest in crime studies in literature, forensic linguistics and social sciences
  • Bridges the literary/linguistic divide through macro and microstructure analysis of popular texts
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eBook 64,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-47028-7
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 80,07 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-47027-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
About this book

This book introduces readers to linguistic stylistic analysis and combines both literary and linguistic analysis to explore suspense in crime fiction. Employing critical linguistics, discourse analysis and functional grammar, it demonstrates that suspense in plot-based stories is created through non-linear, causative presentation of the narrative. The author investigates how plot sequence is manipulated to ensure the reader cannot resolve the order of events until the end of the tale. From two-dimensional circumstantial detection in mystery stories to three-dimensional re-evaluation of offender orientation, she uses a linguistic-based stylistic framework to analyse offender motive. She also employs a 'discourse-based' frame analysis to examine the plot structure of crime stories for micro context and set-up scenarios, demonstrating that it is the unravelling of these devices that creates the suspense in murder mysteries and thrillers alike. Finally, she shows how grammaticization of the offending-self reveals an embedded diegetic space in the offender engagement discourse, provoking an intellectual and affective response and reshaping our overall outlook of the crime in the story. This book will appeal to researchers and students from literary and non-literary backgrounds looking for theoretical and practical advice on the linguistic stylistic approach to reading texts.

About the authors

Reshmi Dutta-Flanders is Honorary Research Fellow at the English Language and Linguistics Department of the University of Kent, UK, where she teaches on a range of topics, including World Englishes, Language in the Media, Semiotics and Stylistics. Her research interests lie in functional nativeness in English language, signs in crime, and in the structure and grammar of crime discourse in criminal narratives, especially offender engagement discourse in crime fiction and in true crime narratives.

Reviews

“A contemporary and unique analysis delving into the mind of the fictional killer. By providing this linguistic analysis of the killer’s speech and thoughts, and by connecting this to evidence from real-life perpetrators, we are given insight into the psychological self-justification for their fictional crimes - something noticeably absent from stylistic analyses.” (Sam D'Elia, University of Kent, UK)

“Reshmi Dutta-Flanders offers a challenging stylistic account of crime fiction drawing on a number of theoretical approaches. Her book is to be welcomed as one of the very few stylistic studies of a genre rather than an individual author. I would recommend this for final year stylistic students or those starting post-graduate studies.” (Tony Bex, University of Kent, ex-Chair, Poetics and Linguistics Association)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 64,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-47028-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 80,07 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-47027-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Language of Suspense in Crime Fiction
Book Subtitle
A Linguistic Stylistic Approach
Authors
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-47028-7
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-47028-7
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-47027-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVII, 500
Number of Illustrations and Tables
1 b/w illustrations, 12 illustrations in colour
Topics