There is another thing I notice these days, rather I should say I first noticed it when i read PD James. It is that the action in crime fiction has become largely 'internalised' and there's less of the random serial killer or drug peddling imbroglio like in the earlier novels. Rather, the premise of the basic crime is used as a tool to dig deep into those conflicts that we prefer to keep under wraps - racism, the reformed paedophile, unhappy marriages, abused childhoods, prejudice, irrational phobias, etc. These may or may not be connected to the main crime but they pose morally imperative questions about right and wrong. In fact, to read certain passages from PD James is akin to reading a meditation on religion.
As I write this post, I also realise that i love flawed characters - the inspector who wages a secret battle with the bottle, the past-his-prime wrestler who tries to make amends with his estranged daughter, the obsessively reclusive forensic medical examiner, the Edinburgh inspector who tries hard to stifle his loathing for criminals so that he can give them a fair hearing. Point is, we are all like that; battling our private demons. Some succeed better than others, that's all. I find it easier to identify with one who is 'striving to do right' than one who 'is always right'. Perhaps that's one reason why Wodehouse's immortal Jeeves never appealed to me. In life, as in fiction, I find myself imperceptibly but surely disengaging from the perfect models.