Conexus: Crime Fiction and the State of the Nation

Dicks, Duncan ORCID: 0000-0001-8098-8140 (2019) Conexus: Crime Fiction and the State of the Nation. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/EDHU2098

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Conexus: Crime Fiction and the State of the Nation consists of two parts. The first section is the novel, Conexus, which is a practice-based exploration and illustration of crime fiction as state-of-the-nation social commentary. The second is a critical discussion of the requirements of a state-of-the-nation novel that reflects the contemporary, globalised word, and how crime fiction contends with these needs. Conexus follows a range of characters in parallel threads that converge onto a single physical location in Gloucestershire. Ainsley Griffin, a technology journalist, his partner, Chelsey, his grandson, Sundance, and a range of other characters gradually become aware of each other through their use of IT as they investigate a series of undiscovered murders that began with a sophisticated network of paedophiles in the 1990s. The murderer chooses each new victim through the random last act of communication of the last victim, and controls their lives through surveillance hacking before murdering them. The critical underpinning of the thesis discusses the concepts, theories and controversies surrounding the concept of a nation (for example, following the legacy of Gellner’s work, Hroch, and the explorations of Bhabha), emphasising the importance of state control through jurisprudence, of communication technology, and of physical locations and boundaries over the past two hundred years. The relative importance and impact of these concepts is seen to have changed dramatically with the rapid explosion of information technology in the twenty-first-century, requiring a very different approach to literary explorations of a nation. A number of crime novels from the past 25 years are analysed in conjunction with Conexus. The locations and boundaries are discussed with reference to the uncanny implications of the physical as discussed by Freud. Approaches to the incorporation of information technology into crime fiction are explored, and the success of this integration is compared to other literary works. In summary, the suitability of the crime novel as portrayal and summary of the culturally and socially significant trends of the time is assessed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Crime fiction; State-of-the-nation; Information technology; IT; Communication; Localisation; Boundaries; Jurisprudence; Social commentary; Val McDermid; Mark Billingham; Stav Sherez; Matthew Blakstad; William Hertling; Jeffrey Deaver
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR401 Modern > PR481 21st century
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR750 Prose > PR821 Prose fiction. The novel
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 18 May 2021 15:07
Last Modified: 31 Dec 2023 04:15

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