Imagine a story in which the criminal is, from the very beginning, already known to the protagonist. Now the task is to find the criminal, but the target evades capture easily.

This is clearly different from normal crime stories, in which the identity must be found first, but I don't know what it is called.

  • 1
    Why would it not be classed as a Crime/Thriller? Knowing who isn't the same as knowing where/when/how and why?
    – user18397
    Sep 19, 2016 at 3:03
  • 2
    It will depend on how you write that story. If there is a lot of suspense and action, it will be a thriller. If you make it a psychological portrait of the criminal or the detective, it will be crime. If you use the story to portray society, it will be literary fiction. If there is a lot of slapstick and jokes, it is humor. And so on.
    – user5645
    Sep 19, 2016 at 6:31
  • Why is it important to assign a genre? Will that label affect your process or your work? Sep 19, 2016 at 17:49
  • More to appease my body's inability to functionally write with uncertainty of what I'm writing. Thinking of not knowing my own story's genre physically hurts. Sep 19, 2016 at 22:06

3 Answers 3


This is extremely similar to a British show called The Fall, on Netflix. You know right from the get-go, and he gets plenty of screen-time throughout. I urge you to watch that before you start writing this. There are definitely some pitfalls to avoid with this sort of thing.

  • This doesn't seem to answer the question. It should probably be a comment on the question instead. Sep 19, 2016 at 17:00
  • This doesn't directly answer the question, but it could be a helpful suggestion when it comes to the actual writing. I would say that it answered an "implied" question, not the "official" one.
    – Tom Au
    Sep 20, 2016 at 15:25

Crime drama.

Wikipedia told me so. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fall_%28TV_series%29

@JStrange88 led me to it.


You could go with Thriller.

If attempts are being made at capturing the criminal but s/he escapes everytime, I suspect there'd be lots of thrilling moments.

You could also use Drama.

This depends on how the story develops. For example if the detectives husband is the criminal who's been having an affair with the detective's sister on the side.

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