Recently I read a fascinating article by author Derek Flynn about how he considers crime fiction to be a working class genre. His justification for this seems to be that his work is rooted in his working class background and knowledge, and how many other authors incorporate working class characters and tropes into their work.
Whilst Flynn definitely has a point, it has to be said that crime fiction isn’t strictly a working class genre simply because it often involves working class characters. After all, many crime fiction novels require those with limited money and resources as characters because of the nature of the work, and the nature of the story lines that the authors use.
In his article Flynn has failed to discuss the other styles of crime fiction out there, and how they incorporate just about all elements of society. From the toffs all the way through to ordinary middle class folks and beyond, class distinctions are a big part of crime fiction, but the genre doesn’t discriminate. It allows everyone to be a part for the simply reason that everyone is.
Everyone is the victim of crime, and as such every type of person of all classes, races and abilities are involved in the crime fiction space. It is true, the working classes are often incorporated the most on account of the fact that those with fewer resources tend to encounter more crime, but the genre involves everyone, and its diversity is what makes it stand out from other, more niche styles of writing.
Whilst some sub-genres focus on specific sectors of society, as a whole crime fiction is versatile and often contains people from throughout society. Whilst some other genres, such as period fiction, often focus on one particular class, crime fiction spreads itself throughout the human spectrum.
Overall, it’s my belief that crime fiction is the genre that can most be said to completely transcend all notion of class, as at its core the genre is about showcasing crime, and this affects everyone of all classes.