Alafair Burke On the Intersection Between Legal Fiction and Domestic Drama @alafairburke @CrimeReads
In a new post for the great website Crime Reads, novelist (and law professor) Alafair Burke puts the spotlight on legal novels which turn on domestic relations issues, including the classic To Kill a Mockingbird (rape), and the recent best seller Gone Girl. As she notes, both lawyers and writers know that relationships among family members and friends can provide among the most powerful sources of conflict.
Maybe it’s my own background as a former prosecutor of domestic violence crimes that led me to this lane of legal-fiction-domestic-suspense hybrids, but now that I’m here, I am finding characters, plots, and dialogue that I, at least, find rewarding for storytelling. Some of the toughest moments I saw play out on the job were ones where the often ham-fisted, rules-based legal system could not handle the complicated and nuanced conflicts among family members. On the one hand, when a crime is committed within a family, there’s no reason police and prosecutors shouldn’t respond to the crime as they would any other. On the other, the laws and systems in place don’t always make room for the family ties that animate the underlying offenses.
Read the rest of her post, as well as other great writing about crime and legal fiction, at Crime Reads.