At the 2013 Bouchercon, the subject of misogyny and violence came up often. Hilary Davidson’s comments on one panel got the the attention of the Library Journal who asked her for this blog post that has been making the rounds in the Mystery community.
“Sadistic violence on the page has been on the rise for some time. I don’t think it’s fair to pin it on one book, but in my mind, there’s a divide between crime novels published before 1988 and those that came after. That was the year Thomas Harris’s The Silence of the Lambs came out. That title was brutal, but its violence was essential to the psychological underpinning of the book and to the development of its characters. Its massive success inspired imitators, but many of those seemed less concerned with psychology than splatter.”