English 159 - Winter, 2016

Topics in the Novel

    Topic: The Contemporary Detective Novel

Class Information

Instructor: Hicks, Jack
CRN: 22761
Time: TR 10:30-11:50
Location: 1120 Hart


    Call them private eyes, sleuths, shamuses, dicks, snoops, peeps or worse, detectives are omnipresent in contemporary fiction and film, high and lowbrow. We’ll meet styling
    tough guy LAPD detective and Viet Nam vet Harry Bosch, working the labyrinths of the City of Angels; Watts handyman Easy Rawlins, the ultimate O.G. turned good guy;
    Precious Ramotswe, exposer of rascals and healer of broken hearts in the Kalahari Desert of Botswana; Navajo policemen Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn, who patrol the southwest
    desert “Big Rez” with traditional medicine and modern criminology; forensic scientist Kay Scarpetta (think television such as “CSI” and “Bones”), who frees corpse secrets and nabs evil women via cybertechnology and DNA scans; Patrice Starling, rookie FBI investigator who collides with cannibal genius Dr. Hannibal Lecter; and pierced/tattooed Lisbeth Salander, victim turned vengeful bisexual superhacker who bares incestuous, global conspiracy in the dark Scandinavian winter. Their tales make fascinating reading and speak of contemporary worlds in jarring transition, changing the roles of detectives,
    criminals (and their awful deeds), victims and ourselves--who devour, ignore, impede or abet crime and punishment.




    The Black Echo, Michael Connelly
    Devil in a Blue Dress, Walter Mosley
    The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith
    Skinwalkers, Tony Hillerman
    The Body Farm, Patricia Cornwell
    The Silence of the Lambs, Thomas Harris
    The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
    Selected passages