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p. 976. Spy fiction, the thriller and legal dramalocked

  • Richard Bradford


‘Spy fiction, the thriller, and legal drama’ explains that although the first espionage novel was James Fennimore Cooper’s The Spy (1821), it was not until the 20th century when espionage agencies were first set up that spy fiction flourished. The first writer to chart an independent course towards the thriller as a distinct brand of writing was Ian Fleming. He was followed by many, including Eric Ambler, John Le Carré, Frederick Forsyth, Gerald Seymour, Craig Thomas, and Tom Clancy. The most elusive marginal sub-species of crime writing is the so-called legal drama. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) belongs in this category, but is also considered a literary classic.

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