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Palgrave Macmillan

Contemporary European Crime Fiction

Representing History and Politics

  • Book
  • © 2023


  • Uncovers the ways in which the crime genre interrogates concealed histories and political underpinnings in Europe
  • Considers the movement of crime, law, and policing across local, regional, and national borders
  • Examines crime narratives about World War II, the post-war era, and after the fall of the Berlin Wall

Part of the book series: Crime Files (CF)

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Table of contents (15 chapters)

  1. Contemporary European Crime Narratives about World War I and World War II


About this book

This book represents the first extended consideration of contemporary crime fiction as a European phenomenon. Understanding crime fiction in its broadest sense, as a transmedia practice, and offering unique insights into this practice in specific European countries and as a genuinely transcontinental endeavour, this book argues that the distinctiveness of the form can be found in its related historical and political inquiries. It asks how the genre’s excavation of Europe’s history of violence and protest in the twentieth century is informed by contemporary political questions. It also considers how the genre’s progressive reimagining of new identities forged at the crossroads of ethnicity, gender, and sexuality is offset by its bleaker assessment of the corrosive effects of entrenched social inequalities, political corruption, and state violence. The result is a rich, vibrant collection that shows how crime fiction can help us better understand the complex relationship between Europe’s past, present, and future. 

Seven chapters are available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License via 

Editors and Affiliations

  • University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy

    Monica Dall'Asta

  • University of Limoges, Limoges, France

    Jacques Migozzi

  • University of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy

    Federico Pagello

  • School of Arts, English & Languages, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK

    Andrew Pepper

About the editors

Monica Dall’Asta is Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Bologna, Italy. She has written widely about early film seriality, the history of film theories, and the work of women in the early film industries. She is one of the founding editors of the Women Film Pioneers Project and served as Coordinator of the DETECt-Detecting Transcultural Identity in European Popular Crime Narratives project (2018–21). 

Jacques Migozzi is Professor of French Literature at the University of Limoges, France, where he leads the Groupe de recherches sur les Littératures Populaires et Cultures Médiatiques. Having written about popular fiction for 30 years, he published a synthetical essay in 2005, Boulevards du Populaire, and has edited or co-edited 12 volumes or journal special issues. 

Federico Pagello teaches Film and Media Studies at the University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy. His current research focuses on popular serial narratives and their transmedia and transmedia circulation, with a particular attention to the crime genre. His most recent monograph is entitled Quentin Tarantino and Film Theory: Aesthetics and Dialectics in Late Postmodernity (Palgrave 2020). 

Andrew Pepper is Professor of English at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is author of Unwilling Executioner: Crime Fiction and the State (2016) and co-editor of Globalization and the State in Contemporary Crime Fiction (Palgrave 2016) and The Routledge Companion to Crime Fiction (2020). 


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