I've been away for a long weekend and took with me a Ruth Rendell and a Sara Paretsky. Crime, about the only fiction I read these days. I used to devour a novel a fortnight, but poetry and non-fiction have been my diet these past few years. Though the distinction between the three forms - fiction, non-fiction and poetry - appear to me less and less defined. There's been a trend for fiction to become built around fact and to use poetic techniques such as alliteration, metaphor, assonance, rhythm. Non-fiction has married into supposition and "it might have happened like this..." And perhaps poetry has become more narrative? Certainly it is less defined by rhyme and meter, two things which set it apart from prose.

Perhaps literary form is once again mirroring society, where demarcations and boundaries have over-all become fuzzier and greyer.

So back to the crime. I think Rendell and Paretsky are genius at the genre, their structuring holding the tension and pace right through to the last page. I'd borrowed both from the library, so both were quite old. The Rendell in particular showed its age. Written in the '70s there were no computers or mobile phones and characters were still calling the operator to be connected. It felt rather quaint, though it was only forty years ago.