British novelist Jessica Mann, who reviews crime fiction for the Literary Review, says that she has become so sickened by the “sadistic misogyny” in many crime novels that she’s giving up reviewing any more books of this kind. You can read the whole item from Quill and Quire, and the interesting comments, here.
I'm in total agreement with Mann. Several times I've tried to read crime fiction recommended by friends (much of it writen by women), but the "repeated descriptions of sadistic psychopaths doing increasingly horrific things to their female victims" which sickened Mann always put me off very quickly.
Mann quotes this telling story:
"When a female corpse recently appeared on the jacket of a crime-writing colleague’s new book, the author pointed out to her publisher that the victim in the story was actually a man...the publisher replied: 'Never mind that. Dead, brutalised women sell books, dead men don’t. Nor do dead children or geriatrics.'"
Dead, brutalised women seem to sell an awful lot of TV series, too.