My thesis is in two parts: Part 1 a novel, Part 2 a critical rationale. The novel examines abuse in a range of manifestations – parental power; alcohol; the press; corporate power – all of which combine to perpetrate a catalogue of abuse against my protagonist. But it is the completely innocent protagonist who is perceived as the abuser. The novel quite deliberately has the feel of a crime story although the only serious crime is off-the-page and not connected with any of the characters or locations. This is intentional. The critical rationale seeks to investigate the classification of crime fiction and literary fiction with crime in it, and attempts to examine where the demarcation appears. Much of the critical rationale examines my novel in this regard. Initially I was looking at the debate from the point-of-view of non-whodunnit crime, but my research took me increasingly towards literary authors who have moved into mystery writing, such as, Kate Atkinson, Susan Hill, John Banville (Benjamin Black) and Joanne Harris. I refer to several novels from the crime genre and from novels which occupy a ‘hinterland’ whereby crime is a major element of the narrative but where they are not regarded as crime fiction. I have researched the shelving policies of the local library and bookshops, and interviewed writers with regard to where they wish their work to be placed. I have also considered briefly what is genre and why hinterland novels are placed somewhere outside the classification of any genre. Where appropriate I have quoted from published authors with regard to their position in this debate, and have used four main novels to discuss the development of my novel - John Brown’s Body; Psycho; Rebecca and Brighton Rock.