The History of the Hard-Boiled Detective Essay

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There are many sub-genres of detective fiction and hard-boiled fiction is one of them. What exactly is hard-boiled detective fiction? Hard-Boiled detective fiction is fiction that features tough, cynical, urban private eyes who expose corruption and frequently get injured in the course of their investigations ("Detective Fiction," Literary). Hard-Boiled fiction is considered one of the more popular sub-genres of detective fiction; there have been numerous films and novels about urban detectives exposing corruption in the police force and in politics. The author credited with inventing the first successful hard-boiled story is Carroll John Daly. His character, Terry Mack, was quick to fight, was quick to shoot and he made plenty of…show more content…
Poe's story set the basic plot for detective stories of that time. A crime, usually murder, is committed; a detective investigates the crime; a number of suspects are considered; the guilty party is discovered and imprisoned, killed, or allowed to escape at the conclusion (Detective Fiction," 1 Twentieth Century). The detective story was originally a competition between the reader and the writer. It was a game intended to challenge the intellect and stimulate though. The reader is challenged by the writer to attempt to solve the mystery with the clues provided. In the final pages of the story the reader would learn if their solution matched that of the detective (Herbert and Hillerman 3-4). Detective stories continued to be this intellectual challenge between reader and writer for many years until the hard-boiled genre emerged. The first hard-boiled detective was Terry Mack, who first appeared in Black Mask magazine in 1923 (Marling). This detective was quick to fight and less on an intellectual than Auguste Dupin. He battled corrupt policemen and gangsters and almost always became injured in the process. Hard-Boiled detective fiction brought the complexity of the story down and added a greater sense of adventure to the novels. This attracted many readers and caused the sub-genre to take off like a rocket (Marling). Hard-Boiled fiction reached its peak in the 1930s and the 1940s. It reflected the pressures of the Depression and World War II. Its villains
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