Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fiction based on real crimes

I finished Megan Abbott's excellent Bury Me Deep last night. As with Eoin McNamee's Orchid Blue, which I posted about earlier in the year, I'm still not sure what I think about fiction that's based on real crimes. Bury Me Deep makes it very clear that whilst some elements of the book are true to the crime in terms of what was reported at the time and in subsequent true crime books, a lot of it is imagined and the ending is completely different. Funnily, I have much less trouble with biographical films, except where they radically alter the history. Bury Me Deep is a kind of alternative history crime novel. Very good, but for whatever reason the fact that it was so strongly based on the infamous 'trunk murders' I found somewhat unsettling. I think it's something to do with family and living legacies. I don't know; it just seems unnerving somehow. Maybe I shouldn't have looked at the author notes at the back of the book until I'd finished reading the novel. Funny what unsettles one's comfort zone. Review tomorrow hopefully.

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