Special Issue "Contemporary Crime Fiction: Psychothriller!"

Rebecca Shen's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
December 1, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Humanities, Literature

Dear Colleagues,

In 2012 Gillian Flynn published her third novel, Gone Girl, to phenomenal success and the novel was swiftly followed by a Hollywood movie.  It was a crime fiction success with a difference, a psychological thriller characterized by sudden plot reversals, a novel with feminist credentials but exploring a dark female psychology – Amy Dunne’s obsessive, controlling, manipulative mind.  Other plot-driven, psychological novels since 2000, have equally explored dark (female and male) personalities: Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train (2015) and Into the Water (2017), Louise Welsh’s The Girl on the Stairs (2012) and A Lovely Way to Burn (2014), Ottessa Moshfegh’s Eileen (2015), Kelly Braffet’s Josie and Jack (2012), Emiko Jean’s We’ll Never Be Apart (2018), Elizabeth Benedict’s The Practice of Deceit (2005), Clare Mackintosh’s I Let You Go (2014), Sabine Durrant’s Under Your Skin (2014), Cynthia Thayer’s A Brief Lunacy (2005), all novels characterized as ‘psychological thrillers’.

An interesting hybrid deploying elements from hardboiled crime fiction, the novel of adventure and the gothic, the psychological thriller is characterized by the absence of the more rigid conventions associated with the classical whodunnit or the hardboiled crime novel and by the particular reading behaviours of its audience.  Indeed, the reader of a psychological thriller expects the unexpected, the sudden and catastrophic plot twists, the sudden unmasking of an unreliable narrator, the surprise ending – and so indulges in predictive reading, speculating how the plot will develop and expecting a surprising and shocking narrative where no character is ‘safe’.

At the same time, thrillers, and especially psychological thrillers, explore contemporary anxieties and address time-sensitive, topical fears and events.  They address terrorism, pandemics, cybercrime feminism and gender, but also economic austerity, financial collapse, mental health problems, as well as other insidious forces and trends – in these neoliberal times - undermining our commonsensical trust in the rational, grounded individual.

This issue aims to assess the rise of the psychological thriller as a publishing success since 2000 and exploring the new, topical problems and anxieties focused on by the psychothriller.  As a result the issue will explore a new crime fiction subgenre that seems to have undergone a rapid and fascination development since 2000.

Dr. Sabine Vanacker
Guest Editor

 

Manuscript Submission Information

 

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charges (APCs) of 350 CHF (Swiss Francs) per published paper are partially funded by institutions through Knowledge Unlatched for a limited number of papers per year. Please contact the editorial office before submission to check whether KU waivers, or discounts are still available. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

 

Keywords

  • crime fiction
  • psychological thriller