What makes British television crime drama so perennially popular, both in the UK and internationally? What are the attractions and pleasures of these shows? How are detectives positioned in relation to viewers' national and collective experience of the 'everyday'? This book addresses these questions, examining the trends evident in a range of series - including A Touch of Frost, Lewis, Cracker, Life on Mars and the more recent Luther - in the context of their broader social meaning. Helen Piper develops a compelling argument regarding the cultural relevance of some of the more popular and powerful television detectives, claiming that theirs is a privileged role as the licensed "voices" of dissent. The discontented TV detective, she suggests, may serve to express a broader sense of cultural malaise.