M. Evans, S. Moore, and H. Johnstone
Detecting the Social
Order and Disorder in Post-1970s Detective Fiction
Palgrave Macmillan 2019
New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in Critical TheoryNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in Literary StudiesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network January 14, 2019 Dave O'Brien
How can detective fiction explain the social world? In Detecting the Social: Order and Disorder in Post-1970s Detective Fiction (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), Mary Evans and Hazel Johnstone, both from the London School of Economics’ Department of Gender Studies, and Sarah Moore, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Bath’s Department of Social and Policy Sciences, set out a radical agenda for contemporary social theory grounded in an analysis of detective fiction since the 1970s. The book uses a range of examples from the genre, as well as comparative discussions with previous eras of detective fiction. In doing so, the book demonstrates how questions of modernity, globalisation, trust in institutions, blame and responsibility, gender and gender relations, along with the rise of neoliberalism and the transformation of the social state since the 1970s can be understood through key works such as Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy. By showing an alternative to ‘unpeopled’ social theories, the book will be key reading across the social sciences.