Femme Fatales

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Paul Whybrow

Full Member
Jun 20, 2015
Cornwall, UK
In a previous thread, we discussed Bitch Characters in fiction.


But, a femme fatale isn't necessarily bitchy, she's more of a predatory vamp who prowls through the lives of those she captivates, getting what she wants from them and leaving them wrecked. She's a fatal woman to know.

Femme fatale - Wikipedia

My favourite femme fatale from literature is Cora from James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice.

A contemporary example of a femme fatale is Amy Dunne, from Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl.

I'm about to start writing Kissing & Killing, my sixth Cornish Detective novel. The protagonist was grieving for his dead wife in the first four stories, but his life was turned around by the unexpected reappearance of a witness from Book 1. They've been corresponding since she returned to her homeland in Wyoming. He's uncertain why she's come back to Cornwall, but they're mutually attracted and become lovers.

She's less innocent than she seems, and may have an ulterior motive for getting involved with a copper. As a rebellious young woman, she acted as a getaway driver for a bank heist, in which people died. The gang was never caught. There's no statute of limitations on murder.

My naïve country detective slowly realises how much he's been played by a femme fatale. Does he turn her in? She's only the second woman he's ever loved.

Who are your favourite femme fatales from literature and films?

Have you written one?

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