CrimeFest update: moral dilemmas & “Sorry, Officer”

My schedule at CrimeFest 2012 in Bristol has shaped up. I’m going to be doing a couple of events on Friday May 25th:

Spotlight session: “Sorry, Officer” — adventures in thriller research, or how not to get arrested. 11:50-12:10. This session will consist of me telling stories about my escapades (yes, that is the technical and legal term — “Shenanigans” is no longer used, because the word implies a misdemeanor offense at best). Come along to hear me tell what might be entirely true accounts of my life.

“Moral Dilemmas and Ethical Choices” — 4 p.m.
Panel moderated by Anne Zouroudi, also featuring Laura Wilson, Cath Staincliffe, and Yrsa Sigurdardottir.

I’d love to see some of you there. It’s going to be a great conference. Other authors attending include Sue Grafton, Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child, Frederick Forsyth, and P.D. James. Yes, Baroness James. And she doesn’t come out for just any old event.

And here’s a question for all of you, whether you’re thinking of attending or not: What kinds of moral dilemmas do you find interesting in fiction? In crime fiction and thrillers, particularly? Law versus justice? Outlaw with a code of honor? Lawman forced to choose between his family and his duty? Police officer who is tempted to lie, twist arms, or torture a suspect to get the information that might save lives?

What gets your goat? What gets your dander up? What do you love to read about, and what do you hate to see, in books or movies or on TV?

5 responses to “CrimeFest update: moral dilemmas & “Sorry, Officer”

  1. Anything with a good story, something when its over, makes me go… waw.
    but I hate to find my self in the end with a book, movie or TV series, thinking that i had wasted a nonrefundable time… 😛

  2. Moral Quandary: Sympathetic criminals, the “ordinary person” who kills under extraordinary stress or threat, who may even seem to have a noble motive. It’s interesting to look at British mysteries written before the UK abolished the death penalty and see how often the sympathetic murderers are allowed to commit suicide or die in some other way so they will not be hanged. (Murder Must Advertise; Behold, Here’s Poison; The Murder of Roger Akroyd; The Anodyne Necklace)

  3. This time, THIS time, will you get PD James’ autograph for me?

  4. I think what annoys me most is predictability especially on TV shows. Every single cop show portrays the Feds as bumblers. Every FBI show portrays local cops as inept. It’s just contentious for contentious sake.
    There is very little moral ambiguity on TV with the sole exception of dexter. How many people are so disgusted with our judicial system that dexter seems to be the best way of dealing with crime? Don’t get me wrong. I’m one of them.
    I also think over doing an idea is not a good thing. One of your best posts was about the all too common use of someone with no problem meting out violence with the classic side kick doing the overtly criminal acts, like Coben’s Windsor Lockwood, Parker’s Hawk, Connolly’s Angel, etc…
    If one is going to be a one man wrecking crew, do it like Jack Reacher. There is no ambiguity there.

  5. Thanks for the comments. Good thoughts, and I’ll bring them up on the panel.

    Ann: I’ll try.

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