As many of you know, I have had two works in progress, an autobiography of sorts and a crime novel/murder mystery. I have decided to focus my energies on the later. My husband reads two to three books a week in this genre, but we have a minor disagreement on how to proceed with the crime drama/murder mystery. I need your thoughts on this dilemma. He tells me, of course, the ultimate decision is mine on how to proceed, but I need your feedback, so I will pose the question here.
If and when you read crime fiction/murder mystery, or watch a show on TV like NCIS or Criminal Minds, do you like to know who the bad guy is before the protagonist does, or do you like to wait until they solve the crime and be surprised?
I like helping the good guys figure it out and exploring options in my head. I don’t like it when authors or movie directors show glimpses of the bad guy in advance. It spoils the intrigue for me. It takes away the fun and makes watching the good guys come to the right conclusions less suspenseful. It removes the element of challenge, which is part of what I like most about such shows and reading.
My husband, who really enjoys both, likes to have some background into the bad guy’s life. He wants to see him set up the crime and see how the good guys work to find out what he already knows. My husband feels that it does not spoil the read to have the backstory on the bad guy/criminal, but offers insight into his behavior which can lead the protagonist down the right road to making clever decisions. He says that a lot of his favorite books center around the bad guy’s history.
I am at a point in this writing where I have to make this decision soon. So, what do you think? Want to see the bad guy set up the crime, or want to wait and be surprised?