Last issue, I wrote of the relationship of the fictional sleuth and the state. As opposed to the orderly Confucianist world of Judge Dee, or at least the Confucianist order as ideally conceived and aspired to at the height of Confucianism, we now live in an extraordinarily disheveled state. One can bury one's head in the sand (mind what is waggling above it when you do) or, ineluctably, comment, critique, inform, and seduce a reader into some realization of what is or has been going on in the world around them. It serves the reader to know, in some small way, what has led up to this mess—to the crime and perhaps to the elements of crime we take for granted and that we imbibe nonchalantly in the drinking water. We in the West, at least, over-psychologize, and while the examination of the psyches of the criminal and the invariably oddball sleuth is not without merit, I, for one, wonder if that psychologizing in some way serves to deflect complicity. A bad conscience, or a conscientious one, may isolate the individual, whereas it does seem as though the chameleon without one seems to fare better.
In that liminal space between the genre of crime fiction and writing about the criminal elements that seem alive and well around us—certain politicians spring to mind—what, then, is crime?
We have published what this writer, at least, regards as a germinal essay on the psyche of those who succumb to authority. We also note the very humane resistance of Behrouz Boochani, Kurdo-Iranian journalist, writer and refugee unjustly imprisoned on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea by the machinations of the present Australian government. On the darker side, the apparent holdup brought upon two journalists in Mexico by the Zapatista "resistence"—or were these just flat-out crooks? Indeed, what authority is being resisted?
In the abstract, "crime" is wrongdoing as defined by the laws of the state; and the list is long.
SIDEKICKS and THE TOOLKIT
Note: If this writer does not run out of steam, or the world of crime writing come to a cataclysmic halt, there will be a Part III in another issue.
Please also note that we have linked the books mentioned with various websites. We also encourage a visit to your local library or, failing that, the Open Library a free online library, which lends ebooks, lists your nearest lending library source and/or offers a link to where the books can be bought.
 For the UK, see Book Depository.