This body of fiction raises further ethical questions about the nature of justice. Post-1970s detective fiction’s revival of torture as a means of extracting the truth and vigilantism as a means of enacting justice means that where contemporary detective fiction allows us the catharsis of apprehending a murderer, it is generally through his violent undoing, rather than arrest. This is partly because, in the world of post-1970s detective fiction, the law and its guardians are often unscrupulous and untrustworthy. Under these circumstances, arrest offers no guarantee that justice will be done. It’s a concern that extends beyond the detective novel.
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