Monday 13 May 2013

South American private eyes

Fellow blogger and fellow expat Montrealer Kevin Burton Smith of the Thrilling Detective website fame (great website by the way) recently brought my attention to an article in the Guardian about the booming private investigation business in Brazil. The article talks about "an army of Sherlock Holmes", but it is more honestly an army of Philip Marlowes. The reason for this growing industry is apparently due to increasing insecurities and a loss of trust in official police and the justice system. I recently read that the private eye was a dying character in crime fiction, which saddened me greatly. I have seen in various work that it might be changing. Of course, the rise of private investigation agencies is not a good omen: at the roots are the least likeable of human traits, such as fear, distrust and a lack of solidarity. Still, what a subject of inspiration for crime fiction! Here is the description of one of these detectives from the Guardian article: "a chubby, teetotal Kung Fu expert who never leaves home without his MP3 recorder or his palmtop computer." How can crime fiction miss this? Completely contemporary, twisting a classical, often cliché character, you can see in thissingle line  the potential for a new breed of private eyes.

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