What is Noir Fiction?
Noir is the French word for Black.
According to Wikipedia Noir Fiction has the following qualities:
-The protagonist is usually not a detective, but instead either a victim, a suspect, or a perpetrator.
-He is someone tied directly to the crime, not an outsider called to solve or fix the situation.
-Other common characteristics are the emphasis on sexual relationships and the use of sex to advance the plot and the self-destructive qualities of the lead characters.
-This type of fiction also has the lean, direct writing style and the gritty realism commonly associated with hardboiled fiction
According to the Vintage Library:
Popularized during the 1940s and 1950s, a genre of American cinema and stories became to be known as Film Noir and Noir Fiction. Highly suspenseful thrillers, many times dealing with paranoia or psychological pressures, and with the trademark dark/black overtones in terms of color, Noir Fiction, these stories usually the main character is quite typical in every way, incapable of handling the darker side of life and is thrust into a downward spiral instigated by a single mistake.