What We Talk About When We Talk About Crime: An upcoming paperback original from NHE

We are thrilled to be publishing a new paperback original this September: What We Talk About When We Talk About Crime by Jennifer Fleetwood.

Over the past few decades, there has been a remarkable rise in the number of people who speak publicly about their experience of crime. These personal accounts used to be confined to the police station and the courtroom, but today bookshops heave with autobiographies and biographies of prisoners, criminals, police and barristers – from The Secret Barrister to Mindhunter – while streaming platforms host hours of content about serial killers, death-row residents, vigilantes and gang members. Podcasts such as Criminal and Serial have also hugely contributed to the popularity of the genre.

About the book and our appetite for true crime

Why has our appetite for true crime, and first-person accounts become so insatiable? British criminologist Jennifer Fleetwood is fascinated by our culture’s seeming obsession with hearing people speak about crime, and in What We Talk About When We Talk About Crime she draws eclectically on criminology, cultural studies and sociology for an in-depth and original exploration. With a wealth of specialist knowledge and experience to share with the general reader, this is not a ‘commercial’ crime book, but rather an insightful dive into the subject of true crime and crime narratives.

Examining seven high-profile crime stories – including Howard Marks’s outlandish autobiography Mr Nice, Shamima Begum’s controversial Times interview, Prince Andrew’s disastrous Newsnight appearance, the shocking revelations in The Real Mo Farah, and Myra Hindley’s unpublished prison letters – Fleetwood sheds light on a subject that affects us all, yet is usually only discussed in academic circles in such detail.

About the author

Jennifer Fleetwood is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Goldsmiths, London. Her previous research monograph Drug Mules: Women in the International Cocaine Trade (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014) won the British Society of Criminology best book award in 2015. She has written for Vice, the Conversation and the Independent.

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