The appeal of domestics

I just finished reading an article by an author of a gritty novel set amongst the sex trade and the criminal justice system. Police procedurals, private investigators — perennially popular.

International thrillers. Choose any of the following: elite-squad military incursions, government or quasi-government spy conspiracies, continent-hopping criminals gangs. Always great.

But my no matter where I might stray, I’m always drawn back to the domestic suspense story. I find them enthralling, and I gobble them up as fast as I can (with periodic breaks for ocular health).

Why do I feel that way? Why do I find them endlessly fascinating?

Because home is where you let your guard down, and you’re vulnerable.

Because these people, your close family and friends, are the ones who know those secrets you hide from the world.

Because the stakes are so high. Your heart is here. You’ll go places you wouldn’t normally go.

Because this is the petri dish where all the variant bacilli of human nature and all its pathologies are on writhing display, in technicolor.

It’s timeless

Many mystery-thriller sub-genres come and go, peak and ebb. And they’re always a delight. And here I am leaving aside whole worlds (literally) of other book genres. Whatever type of books you like to read (or write), you’ll have fellow fans and enthusiasts.

But I love that I can pick up a decades-old domestic suspense book (whatever it may’ve been categorized as in its time) and the dynamics, the scheming, the hidden secrets … all those delicious ingredients … are still fresh and bewitching.

And you?

What’s your reading passion … and what draws you to it so?


Photo credit: Photo by Matt Jones on Unsplash

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