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Perpetrator Trauma in Television Crime Series We Hunt Together

Perpetrator Trauma in Television Crime Series We Hunt Together Crime fiction scholarship increasingly focuses on trauma in contemporary crime narratives but has largely neglected to investigate perpetrator trauma. This article contributes to filling this gap by exploring perpetrator trauma in We Hunt Together (2020), a British television crime series written by Gaby Hull, that portrays the consequences of perpetrator trauma on a former child soldier from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Babeni (Baba) Lenga, waiting for permanent residency in the UK. Viewers learn about his violent past through flashbacks and his involvement with Frederica ‘Freddy’ Lane which precipitates Baba’s present return to violence. Informed by crime fiction studies, literary trauma theory, and research on child soldier narratives, this study argues that perpetrator trauma complicates and renders agency ambiguous in We Hunt Together, where Baba’s story eventually leads to healing. Ultimately, the perpetrator trauma narrative of a former child soldier, focalised through Baba, brings together the themes of war, colonialism, and the growing use of child soldiers in the present, challenging the crime-solving plot by raising ethical and political issues of guilt and responsibility and problematising any easy distinctions between victim and perpetrator/criminal. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Crime Fiction Studies Edinburgh University Press

Perpetrator Trauma in Television Crime Series We Hunt Together

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2517-7982
eISSN
2517-7990
DOI
10.3366/cfs.2022.0073
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Crime fiction scholarship increasingly focuses on trauma in contemporary crime narratives but has largely neglected to investigate perpetrator trauma. This article contributes to filling this gap by exploring perpetrator trauma in We Hunt Together (2020), a British television crime series written by Gaby Hull, that portrays the consequences of perpetrator trauma on a former child soldier from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Babeni (Baba) Lenga, waiting for permanent residency in the UK. Viewers learn about his violent past through flashbacks and his involvement with Frederica ‘Freddy’ Lane which precipitates Baba’s present return to violence. Informed by crime fiction studies, literary trauma theory, and research on child soldier narratives, this study argues that perpetrator trauma complicates and renders agency ambiguous in We Hunt Together, where Baba’s story eventually leads to healing. Ultimately, the perpetrator trauma narrative of a former child soldier, focalised through Baba, brings together the themes of war, colonialism, and the growing use of child soldiers in the present, challenging the crime-solving plot by raising ethical and political issues of guilt and responsibility and problematising any easy distinctions between victim and perpetrator/criminal.

Journal

Crime Fiction StudiesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2022

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