The Legal Thriller from Gardner to Grisham

See you in Court!

  • Lars Ole Sauerberg

Part of the Crime Files book series (CF)

Table of contents

About this book


This book offers a critically informed yet relaxed historical overview of the legal thriller, a unique contribution to crime fiction where most of the titles have been written by professionals such as lawyers and judges.

The legal thriller typically uses court trials as the suspense-creating background for presenting legal issues reflecting a wide range of concerns, from corporate conflicts to private concerns, all in a dramatic but highly informed manner. With authors primarily from the USA and the UK, the genre is one which nonetheless enjoys a global reading audience. As well as providing a survey of the legal thriller, this book takes a gender–focused approach to analyzing recently published titles within the field. It also argues for the fascination of the legal thriller both in the way its narrative pattern parallels that of an actual court trial, and by the way it reflects, frequently quite critically, the concerns of contemporary society.


crime fiction suspense fiction genre fiction courtroom fiction courtroom drama mass market paperback pulp magazines American legal system British legal system female crime writers American fiction British fiction Perry Mason Erle Stanley Gardner John Grisham interdisciplinary studies

Authors and affiliations

  • Lars Ole Sauerberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department for the Study of CultureUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdense MDenmark

Bibliographic information