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By Christiana Gregoriou (auth.)

This booklet explores the 3 points of deviance that modern crime fiction manipulates: linguistic, social, and standard. Gregoriou conducts case reviews into crime sequence through James Patterson, Michael Connelly and Patricia Cornwell, and investigates the way those novelists correspondingly problem these aforementioned conventions.

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Specifically, Patterson will prove to employ such apparent metaphors in their literal senses, so as to achieve specific effects. Whereas seventeenth- and eighteenth-century scholars of the like of Thomas Sprat classified the figurative word meanings as ‘deviations’ from the ‘true’ meanings of words, deconstructionists would go as far as to deny any clear-cut distinction between literal and figurative word meaning (Wales, 2001: 152). Going further than deconstructionists, cognitive linguists such as Lakoff and Johnson (1980) and Gibbs (1994) would argue ‘not only for the fundamental importance of figurative “language”, ubiquitous and non-deviant, but also of what they term figuration, for human thought’ (Wales, 2001: 152).

In Chapter 3, ‘Linguistic Deviance: The Stylistics of Criminal Justification’, I draw on two studies of the language of extracts portraying the criminal consciousness. The first draws on the notion of mind style as a vital medium for one to get from the stylistic analysis of such extracts to the moral justification of crimes. The second addresses the nature of the criminal mind in Patterson and investigates the figurative language employed in such extracts. In Chapter 4, ‘Social Deviance in Contemporary Crime Fiction’, I examine the rule-breaking of the social perspective of abnormality, with a focus on Connelly’s Bosch series.

Though he was able in adulthood to learn fairly successfully the language of which he was deprived in childhood, his speech is deviant particularly because of the way in which he conveys information: ‘No questions, please,’ the young man said at last. ‘Yes. No. ’ He paused for a moment. ‘I am Peter Stillman. I say this of my 34 Deviance in Contemporary Crime Fiction own free will. Yes. That is not my real name. No. Of course my mind is not all it should be. But nothing can be done about that. No.

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