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'The crime cull'

6 September 2004

'In the past 10 years an axe has been taken to the crime lists of all the biggest publishers. Shorn of medium to low sellers, star names and future hopes have been repackaged and marketed with greater gusto than ever before... The crime cull cannot be blamed totally on changes in distribution and marketing. Readers' tastes have changed too. Demand for dusty detectives has been replaced by demand for darker, more psychological stories, with strong characterisation. At the same time crime writing has achieved greater credibility among the lit crit brigade, thanks to a new generation of gifted writers working within the genre...'

Danuta Kean on current trends in British crime writing in the Bookseller