Detective fiction is known as a genre that is concerned with revealing truths, both in the fictional world of the text as well as in the society after which it is patterned. The current socio-political environment, however, has been described as an era of post-truth politics and political propaganda, in which truth is more often determined by the relative strength of its representation. While some contemporary crime novels continue to propagate a reassuring message of truth, select Austrian narratives reflect this new so-called post-truth world. Bringing together theories of detective fiction and post-truth discourse, this article demonstrates how Eva Rossmann’s 2017 crime novel Patrioten
) adapts the themes and structures of traditional detective narratives to expose a society in which certainty is determined less by objective facts than by their construction in the media and socio-political discourse. The analysis concludes that the novel’s thematic and formal innovations help to redefine the socio-critical potential of contemporary detective fiction by showing the imminent dangers of an unregulated post-truth society.
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