Detective fiction tells a story pieced together by some clever person – and in a video game, that’s you
In one of her best books, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Agatha Christie puts these words into the mouth of her least favourite character, Hercule Poirot: “Understand this, I mean to arrive at the truth. The truth, however ugly in itself, is always curious and beautiful to seekers after it.”
All detective stories are an attempt to reflect this. Uncovering the truth through clever reasoning, observation and logic is wondrous. You are forced to look at the world anew: a misplaced chair is no longer just a chair, but indicative of a killer’s escape; a removed lightbulb tells us the killer did not want to be seen. In the eyes of a detective (or a great detective writer), everyday objects are imbued with alien significance. They no longer fit where we think they fit and when we find their proper place, a clear picture emerges. Poirot was a great detective because he obsessed over order and was more sensitive to misplacement. Sherlock Holmes could see tiny stains on a hat and understand the entire life of its wearer.