When authors blow their chance to use a cliché
In this case, the novel's narrator offers a passing observation about a supporting character's absence from a given scene, another character explains why that character is missing, and the scene goes on.
I realized as I read that the author had placed the missing character in a situation common for the type of crime novel in which he appears. Except that by relegating the exchange to a minor role, he made the situation seem fresh, like something real people could be doing, rather than like something Characters in a Crime Novel would do. You can bet that when the book is published, I will highlight the scene in question and hail it from the rooftops as an example of writing that revivifies a crime-fiction a convention.
After all, crime fiction is a fiction of conventions. Or is it?
Now, your job: What other crime writers pass up the chance to use clichés? And how do they do it? Do they write novel characters, situations, or scenes? Do they resolve typical situations in surprising fashion? Do they frame a typical scene, situation, or character so cleverly that it seems new?
© Peter Rozovsky 2012