Female Corpses in Crime Fiction

A Transatlantic Perspective

  • Glen S. Close

Part of the Crime Files book series (CF)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Glen S. Close
    Pages 1-34
  3. Glen S. Close
    Pages 35-87
  4. Glen S. Close
    Pages 89-135
  5. Glen S. Close
    Pages 137-202
  6. Glen S. Close
    Pages 203-235
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 237-261

About this book


This book examines the central significance of sexualized female corpses in modern and contemporary Hispanic and Anglophone crime fiction. Beginning with the foundational detective fictions of the nineteenth century, it draws from diverse subgenres to describe a transatlantic tradition of necropornography characterized by lascivious interest in female cadavers, dissection, morgues, femicide, and snuff movies. Hard-boiled and police procedural classics from the U.S. and the U.K. are juxtaposed with texts by established Spanish and Spanish American genre masters and with obscure works that prefigure the contemporary transmedial boom in corpse-centered fictions. The rhetoric and aesthetics of necropornographic crime fiction are related to those of popular crime journalism and forensic-science television dramas. This study argues that crime fiction has long fixated disproportionately on the corpses of beautiful young white women and continues to treat their deaths and autopsies as occasions for male visual pleasure, male subjective slf-affirmation and male homosocial bonding.


Necropornography Hispanic crime fiction Spanish American crime fiction Anglophone crime fiction Cadavers Edgar Allan Poe Mickey Spillane Ed McBain Neopoliciaco Narco-novel Paco Ignacio Taibo II Andreu Martín Lorenzo Silva Roberto Bolaño 2666 Dissection Autopsy Snuff video Prime Suspect CSI

Authors and affiliations

  • Glen S. Close
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Wisconsin–MadisonMadison, WIUSA

Bibliographic information