Most people don’t take a life without a reason. So, an important part of a murder investigation is finding out the motive for the killing. That’s why a lack of motive (or apparent lack of motive) can stall an investigation. It’s hard to accuse someone of a crime such as murder if that person has no motive for taking such a drastic step.
Lack of apparent motive is the reason that a lot of fictional investigations don’t move forward quickly, and that can add an interesting layer to the plot. I’m not talking here of cases such as serial killers, where the motive is rooted in some sort of pathology. Rather, I’m talking of cases where there simply seems to be no motive.
For example, in Agatha Christie’s Three Act Tragedy (AKA Murder in Three Acts), Hercule Poirot attends a cocktail party at the home of famous actor Sir…
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