Lindy Burleigh

Hard-Boiled History



Fourth Estate 379pp £15.99 order from our bookshop

JADE GREEN, THE would-be hard-boiled heroine of Maureen Due’s erudite and entertaining detective- cum- love story, models herself on Raymond Chandler’s grizzled, chain-smoking private eye Philip Marlowe, who still sets the standard for private-detective cool. Like Marlowe, she is a wisecracking cynic, a wounded romantic and an idealist in pursuit of justice, who leads a solitary, hand-to-mouth existence. The similarity ends there: Jade is a young, gay woman who can’t even master the smoking habit and sits in her office surfing the Internet instead of pulling on her hat and raincoat and going off into the mist. While she constantly invokes Marlowe, she wryly reminds herself that she is a lawyer and not a ‘lapsed gumshoe’. She runs her own practice, the ironically named Lost Causes, from her London flat, supplementing her rather meagre income by delivering for the local Chinese takeaway.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'One of the reasons for its longevity is that it has virtually nothing to say about science and technology at all,… ,
    • 'The characters in many of these stories are trapped in the obsessive present tense of their own thoughts; in the m… ,
    • 'Libraries, for much of their existence, have embodied in microcosm many of the characteristics of the totalitarian… ,
    • 'Moss and Cynthia buy several properties through which to launder their ill-gotten gains, take lots of drugs, have… ,
    • 'Never mind the imperial cult. This is the cult of Boris. What happened to Rome?' From the LR archive:… ,
    • Thirty-two years ago this month, we published Muriel Spark's short story, 'A Playhouse Called Remarkable' Read it… ,
    • Time travel, bicycles and white horses populate @WomackPhilip's roundup of children's books by @marcussedgwick,… ,