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'Get Carter' and the birth of British noir
'Get Carter' and the birth of British noir

There’s a moment, in the middle of Ted Lewis’ 1970 crime novel “Get Carter” (Syndicate Books, 218 pp., $14.95 paper) that sums up the hard-boiled ethos as well as anything I’ve ever read. The narrator, a fixer for the London mob named Jack Carter, is in a private club in the Northern English mill town where he was born. He is trying to find out what happened to his brother Frank, dead in a drunk driving incident that may or may not have been staged. The year is 1970, and as Carter looks around, he sees the bitter fruit of prosperity. “They’d had nothing when they were younger,” he reflects about the middle-class burghers who surround him,...

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