cid

commissaire inspector dottore

academic and personal thoughts on detective-inspector novels

stats: motives for murder

Motives for mystery-murders can be difficult to characterize. Covering up another crime, greed, jealousy, and revenge may look like the most straightforward, but even they get complicated and blend with other motives. Often, perhaps, the best policiers refuse to identify unambiguous reasons why their killers kill.

Some motives listed here take the killings out of the range of murder proper – at least abstractly. But that's the way of mystery plots. Murder investigations are sometimes resolved (in fiction, and I daresay occasionally in reality) by discovering that what looked like a murder was accident, suicide, euthanasia, or self-defense.

I don't mention these motives from the bibliography pages for fear of casual spoilers. So be aware that knowing the motive, in a Krimi, is tantamount to revealing the plot.

accident (in the course of another crime)
den som elsker noe annet (fossum)

aesthetic ambition
travail soigné (lemaitre)

amorality
richter und sein henker, der (dürrenmatt)

cosmic justice
askungar (ohlsson)
återkomsten (nesser)
dark winter, the (mark)
kingdom come (jensen)

coverup
achados e perdidos (garcia-roza)
återkomsten (nesser)
city and the city, the (miéville)
girl in the ice, the (bryndza)
last seen wearing --- (waugh)
offer utan ansikte (ahnhem)
richter und sein henker, der (dürrenmatt)
sinister pig, the (hillerman)
tundra kill (jones)
tusenskönor (ohlsson)

fugue state
espinosa sem saída (garcia-roza)

greed
snjóblinda (ragnar)

hatred
espinosa sem saída (garcia-roza)
polt muß weinen (komarek)

homicidal mania
alting har sin pris (hammer & hammer)
återkomsten (nesser)
girl in the ice, the (bryndza)
glemte piger, de (blædel)
roseanna (sjöwall and wahlöö)

jealousy
(professional)
richter und sein henker, der (dürrenmatt)
(sexual)
achados e perdidos (garcia-roza)
espinosa sem saída (garcia-roza)
monsieur lecoq (gaboriau)
ziarno prawdy (miłoszewski)

mercy
rete di protezione, la (camilleri)

negligence
den som elsker noe annet (fossum)

rage
altro capo del filo, l' (camilleri)
evas øye (fossum) gniew (miłoszewski)

revenge
achados e perdidos (garcia-roza)
alex (lemaitre)
alting har sin pris (hammer & hammer)
den du inte ser (jungstedt)
glemte piger, de (blædel)
gniew (miłoszewski)
monsieur lecoq (gaboriau)
offer utan ansikte (ahnhem)
sinister pig, the (hillerman)
svinehunde (hammer & hammer)
uwikłanie (miłoszewski)

robbery
når det mørkner (horst)

self-defense
monsieur lecoq (gaboriau)

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