The Enduring Popularity of the Crime Thriller Genre


John Sandford pic
John Sandford

As the president and CEO of LR Commercial Construction Inc., an oil field pipeline and heavy civil construction company based in Waco, Texas, Bert Vandiver oversees the operations and manages the 75 employees under his watch. Whenever he’s free, Bert Vandiver enjoys reading books and identifies John Sanford as one of his favorite authors.

John Roswell Camp, more popularly known by the pseudonym John Sanford, is a bestselling author and a recipient of numerous writing awards, including a Pulitzer Prize. He has over 40 novels under his name, 25 of which are a part of the long-running Prey series, which falls under the crime thriller fiction genre.

Crime thriller fiction continues to be a popular fiction genre around the globe, and there are many reasons for this. First, unlike Shakespearean tragedies where the main characters come from society’s elite or ruling class, crime thrillers feature heroes which are commoners, hence making the characters more accessible to the masses.

Another reason why crime thrillers continue to enthrall audiences is because their plots often actually mimic what happens in real life. This is in contrast with other fiction genres such as sci-fi or fantasy, where the stories are more removed from real life in both time and circumstances. With crime thrillers, the stories that audiences read about are not so different from what can often be seen on the nightly news, making the sense of danger inherent in these stories feel real and palpable.


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