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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 citys glittering faade Is this what the novel is about Marele Days 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 the bare grit and grime of the cold hard truth that is organized crime in Sydney The Life and Crimes of Harry Lavender is a satirical ridicule of the traditional hard-boiled school crime novel It complies with the basic characteristics of a piece of private-eye detective fiction however Day has also incorporated a certain extent of irony into the story by choosing the main characterdetective to be a woman Claudia Valentine is not depicted as the typical useless female throwaway- either by being the victim or betrayer This woman is self-sufficient gutsy and heroic Her involvement challenges stereotypes and ideas set in the responders minds in relation to gender issues She is equal to any male completing her job successfully and outwitting anyone in her path She is also the intellectual counterpart of Harry Lavender the evil villain in the story In light of the tongue-in-cheek atmosphere of the novel through Claudia Day captures the typically marginalised life-style of a detective thats lacking in emotion living on the fringes of society being largely fond of alcohol cigarettes and modestly enjoying violence in their life She shows a female character doing what previously only men had done directly committing herself to the criminal
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