Whatever kind of writing you are engaging in, from thriller writing to scientific papers, there is always an implied, or, sometimes, explicit, relationship with the reader. As a writer of crime fiction, one of the decisions you will need to make, sooner rather than later, is how you are going to position your reader in relation to the story which will unfold. At the very least, a writer needs to consider the following – is the reader going to be in the dark as to who the killer is, positioned with the victim, waiting for the inevitable tragedy to occur (one of the techniques used by Conan Doyle, for instance)? Or perhaps, as with Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter, your reader will be looking over the killer’s shoulder, at a world made unfamiliar? Or, as with so many detective stories, police procedurals and forensic pathology narratives, perhaps the crime has already taken place, and you are going to be following its unravelling alongside the problem-solving Wallander (Henning Mankell) or Scarpetta (Patricia Cornwell). To some extent, the kind of book the writer is interested in writing will determine the relationship between reader, writer and unfolding narrative – is the book going to be solving the conundrum of a mysterious crime, following a victim as they blunder towards their doom, explaining the thought processes of a killer…? The choices are (almost) endless, and then, of course, there’s the way that the writer can play about with plots within plots – for instance, how often is Kay Scarpetta potential victim as well as skilful pathologist?