I grew up on horror, and I've always read suspense, mystery, and thrillers. For the past probably three or four years, a lot of what I've read has been fantasy or other genres that have been recommended to me, with the exception of a couple of authors I really like. I have, however, picked up crime books during that time and have bought quite a few for my to-be-read pile.
It seems, though, that the ones I've read have all been really graphic. I just started a new one and that one, too, has the goriest murder scene I've ever come across described in the first ten pages.
It seems like there has been a trend toward more gore in the past few years. It strikes me as shock value most of the time (I've rarely read one that seemed necessary), and I'm not sure I like it. It's also possible, though, that it's just been an unlucky few books that I've picked up. I can think of one of the most graphic scenes I've read from fifteen years ago, and these new ones all seem to be as bad or worse than that--and that was in a horror novel.
Is it just the books I'm reading, or is it really a trend? And if it is, how do you feel about that as a reader and/or writer? Are we expected now to have this level of graphic detail in our books?