As an avid reader of crime fiction there is not much in book form that I find really upsetting. For example my latest novel is one by Peter James called Dead like You. The perpetrator in the story has a fetish for designer high heels and uses them to do nasty things to his victims. I wouldn’t therefore call myself particularly sensitive. However whilst browsing Waterstones on Saturday with a friend we came across something that offended even me and had we not already eaten at the time would very likely have put me off my lunch.
That is just wrong. The idea that people would actually collect the hair left behind by little tiddles and then make finger puppets out of it is, if you ask me, truly disturbing. What next, Dusting with Dog Hair? Seriously?
Everyone has a different threshold when it comes to what they find repulsive or annoying. I think it’s the same with the written word. There are certain phrases that really wind me up, the use of ‘minds eye’ is one. He saw in his minds eye…
I am sure that grammatically it is correct to use it, but it is so very patronising. I may not be Mensa material, but I’m clever enough to understand when something is being imagined, or remembered or actually physically seen. I don’t always need it spelling out for me. It’s like watching an episode of Big Fat Gypsy Weddings. They tell you every time they change a shot that ‘this is so and so, he has x number of kids’…you only told me 10 minutes ago, I don’t need telling again. I bet the gypsy programme would only be about 10 minutes long if they only told you things once.
Luckily so far, Dead Like You hasn’t used the phrase ‘minds eye’ and is currently gripping. I am a little concerned as I recently read that Peter James is a big fan of the paranormal and as I haven’t read his books before I don’t know if this stretches to his writing. That is another thing that really annoys me. When you are reading a crime novel that seems to be going really well, and it then turns into some fantasy/supernatural thing.
I like my crime to be nice and human. I want to know at the end of the book that a bad person will be caught and punished, not that they will simply create some imagined identity in order to explain away unrealistic things. I’m about half way through and so far fingers crossed it all seems to be very natural, will keep you posted.