Noir fiction (or roman noir) is a literary genre closely related to hardboiled genre with a distinction that the protagonist is not a detective, but instead either a victim, a suspect, or a perpetrator. Other common characteristics include the self-destructive qualities of the protagonist. A typical protagonist of the Noir fiction is dealing with the legal, political or other system that is no less corrupt than the perpetrator by whom the protagonist is either victimized and/or has to victimize others on a daily basis, leading to lose-lose situation.

The term originates from the stories describing the atmosphere during the Prohibition-period in America that were written by hardboiled writers in the early 1940s, that were adapted for screen in Film noir by the Austro-German[a] film-making emigrants in Hollywood who fled the similarly corrupt system in Europe which allowed for the Nazi movement to gain power.