The Narrator as Detective

National association of Writers in education
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Writing in Practice - The Journal of Creative Writing Research, 2015, 1 (1), pp. 1 - 5
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
This essay examines the role of the narrator as detective in the construction of a non-fiction narrative based on an unsolved murder. The majority of so called “true-crime” books are written as long pieces of journalism with little investigation of character and a tendency to summarize and sensationalize events. However, there is scope for a different kind of narrative where the narrator, working alongside the reader, functions as a “real” detective to reconstruct from the words and documents of others a “true account” of the crime and to reveal its deeper implications. Drawing on the writer’s own experience in investigating the murder of a prominent police whistleblower in Sydney, Australia, this essay examines the technical and practical difficulties facing a writer when investigating an unsolved murder. Keywords: narrative non-fiction, true crime, narrator as detective, unsolved murders, police corruption, noir, practice-based research
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