During the existence of the genre of detective literature, many varieties have arisen in it, and the difference, for example, between an ironic and a fantastic detective story is so great that in fact we can talk about separate genres. A special place is occupied by psychological detectives, in which a crime is solved due to the knowledge of human souls.
Features of a psychological detective
Of course, the investigation of any crime is impossible without using the fundamentals of psychology. The search for a motive, an attempt to present the way of thinking of a criminal, finding a hidden meaning in the testimony of witnesses - all these psychological techniques are in the arsenal of most famous literary detectives. However, some of them put psychology at the forefront, and this allowed them to solve intricate riddles without leaving the office.
Researchers believe that the first work in the genre of psychological detective was the novel "The Adventures of Caleb Williams", written by William Godwin in 1774. Despite the age of the book, it is still interesting to read it.
In such detective novels, as a rule, crimes are committed for various emotional reasons: out of jealousy, revenge, or envy. Such a crime can be solved by those detectives who are able to penetrate deeply into the experiences and feelings of all suspects, to understand their hidden and suppressed desires and aspirations. A significant part of the investigation consists of conversations on abstract topics, clarification of seemingly insignificant details from the past of the victim and suspects.
Classic examples of the genre
Agatha Christie is rightfully considered one of the recognized classics of psychological detective. Her Hercule Poirot has repeatedly argued that in order to solve a crime, first of all, knowledge of psychology is necessary, and only then - criminology. One of the novels in which Poirot made full use of his psychological talent is The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Christie's novel "Ten Little Indians", which became the basis for the famous Soviet film, which is a must-see for every lover of detective stories, belongs to the same variety.
Of the relatively modern works, Dennis Lehane's book "Closed Island" attracts the most attention, based on which the film "Isle of the Damned" with Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role was filmed in 2010.
Fyodor Dostoevsky's famous novel Crime and Punishment is also a psychological detective thriller, although much more attention is paid to the inner experiences of the protagonist than, in fact, to the course of the investigation.
Other classic examples of this genre that connoisseurs should definitely get acquainted with are The Mystery of Edwin Eckrud by Charles Dickens, A Stuffy Night in the Carolina by John Ball, as well as good detective stories by Georges Simenon. Researchers argue that it was in France that its own independent school of psychological detective literature developed.