"Witty, wryly humorous and fast-paced, "The Life and Crimes of Harry
Lavender" is a thriller with a twist which brilliantly evokes the sleaze below the surface of the city's glittering faade". Is this what the novel is about?
Marele Day's novel, "The Life and Crimes of Harry Lavender" explores a large scope of issues related to crime and mystery writing. The use of simple language, symbolism, clever wit and a certain sense of satirical mockery all contribute to composing this witty, wryly humorous and fast paced novel. Through the way in which Day portrays the protagonist, Claudia Valentine, she challenges the stereotypes and ideas set in the readers' minds, in relation to gender issues. Day also succeeds to ruthlessly unmask …show more content…
She shows a female character doing what previously only men had done; directly committing herself to the criminal underworld, walking dangerous streets at night, boldly trespassing into perilous areas and defending herself- all the things that only men would do in conventional versions of the genre.
On the very first page, Day introduces this concept of ironic mockery by creating confusion as to the gender of the character. A tough voice that fills the requirements of hard-boiled school men is established, and only after turning the page does the reader realize that the terribly hung-over narrator is a female private-eye and the blonde in the bed is a good-looking male.
The novel is set in Sydney. Day represents the city form two different views. One is Claudia's safe, sheltered Sydneyof innocent childhood,
"Cars sat in the sun silently absorbing the heat, reminding me of childhood summers. Days at the beach and before you went home all the doors of the car would be flung open and the heat that rushed out nearly knocked you over."
The reader soon discovers it to simply be a faade that blinds us from seeing the seedy, savage and corrupted undertones of a world which very few are aware of. This other side is associated with Harry
Lavender, who is slowly infiltrating all of society like cancer slowly invades a healthy human body. On several occasions Claudia reinforces
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