Crime fiction and narcotics

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Narcotics – or what are colloquially called “drugs” – enter the realm of the crime story in a number of instructive ways. Drugs, like the colonial trade which brought them to England in the first place, and the crimes which Sherlock Holmes and Franklin Blake investigate, are banished to the social margins or occluded from our view. North American Free Trade Agreement is also key to the modernisation or neoliberalisation of the drug trade because one of its effects is a “smooth flow of traffic between Mexico and the United States” and with this “a smooth flow of drug traffic”. Drugs, like money, flow smoothly and without drawing attention to themselves across borders and so it also stands to reason that fiction about the flows of drugs and money across borders will be inherently transnational in their outlook.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge companion to crime fiction
EditorsJanice Allain, Jesper Gulddal, Stewart King, Andrew Pepper
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780429453342
ISBN (Print)9781138320352, 9781032570525
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2020


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