Why Are Crime Thrillers So Popular?

It’s great to be a guest on your blog, and I’m delighted to write about the genre I love—crime-thrillers!

The top ten living crime fiction authors have sold 500 million books, and the figure just keeps rising. Authors who excel in other genres have now turned to writing crime fiction, such as J.K. Rowling. So why is crime fiction so popular?

I think it’s fair to say that with constant live news feeds from around the world—on the internet, radio, TV, and other media sources, people are bombarded with bad news and horrifying events: murders, bomb blasts, acts of terrorism, child abductions. We are probably more fearful than people fifty years ago because information is so easily accessible. Also, the threats seem to have become bigger, more complex, and from much farther afield. Cyber-crime means that criminals can steal, blackmail, and destroy people’s reputations without even going near the victim.

I believe that one of the reasons why crime fiction is so popular is that it allows us to wrestle with the big issues of our time in the context of a work of fiction, which acts like a safety net because we know it isn’t real. We read about fictional psychopaths and bombs going off from the comfort of a snug sofa while sipping on a cup of tea. We enjoy the adrenaline rush, the emotional rollercoaster, but we know we can put the book down and walk away. We are not actually in a war zone. There is no killer threatening us. We can live the life of a novel’s hero, bravely dodging fictitious bullets. 

For me, crime-thrillers offer a delicious combination of scary and safe. When a reader starts a crime-fiction novel, there is one thing they can be pretty sure of: the hero will vanquish the villain, catch the killer, save the child, or prevent the world from being destroyed. Of course, not all authors give us a happy ending, and often the victory is at great cost—sometimes even resulting in the death of the hero. For me, as an author, the victory of the hero is important; it reminds us that there is hope and that there are people out there, no matter how flawed, who will make a stand. 

L.A. Larkin’s thriller Devour is published by Constable at the end of January 2017. Peter James says Devour “delivers action and intrigue in spades,” and Culturefly says, “If you are only going to read one novel in 2017, I suggest you make it Devour.”


To learn more or order a copy, visit:

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L. A. Larkin is a British-Australian thriller author whose work has been likened to Michael Crichton and praised by Peter James. Her novel The Genesis Flaw was nominated for four crime fiction awards, and Thirst has been described as, “The best Antarctic thriller since Ice Station.” An adventurer at heart, Larkin has spent time in the Antarctic and with scientists at the British Antarctic Survey and the Australian Antarctic Division. She was born in England and studied literature at the University of London’s Royal Holloway College, graduating with honours. She lives in Sydney and London and teaches mystery and thriller writing. Visit her website: www.lalarkin.com


  1. Jackie Wisherd

    Enjoyed reading Mr Larkin’s take on why thrillers are big sellers.

  2. Jean Dickinson

    I’m looking forward to L.A.Larkin’s new series featuring Olivia Wolfe, investigative journalist in “Devour”!!

  3. Melissa Keith

    Sounds like a book I’ll “Devour”.

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