What’s not to like?

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Books -

Ox­ford and Ed­in­burgh. Great cities, de­mand great lit­er­ary de­tec­tives.

As his name im­plies, how­ever, Hardy owes more to the hard-boiled school of Amer­i­can de­tec­tive fic­tion than he does to his Bri­tish coun­ter­parts. There are shades of Sam Spade

it seems, ( The Mal­tese Fal­con) and Philip Mar­lowe ( The Big Sleep) in his la­conic wise­crack­ing de­meanour and, on one oc­ca­sion, he self-con­sciously chan­nels Humphrey Bog­art, who played both roles on the screen.

Not­with­stand­ing

his

‘‘ noirish’’

ori­gins, Hardy is unashamedly Aus­tralian, al­beit one who es­pouses the cul­tural pieties of an ear­lier era. He de­plores af­fec­ta­tion, mock­ing Wake­field’s Amer­i­can­isms and re­fus­ing to call petrol ‘‘ gas’’. He’s com­pas­sion­ate, sto­ical, prag­matic, de­spises bul­lies, and lives by a strict per­sonal

Au­thor Peter Cor­ris is the cre­ator of no-non­sense Syd­ney pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tor Cliff Hardy

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