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LOUIS CHARBONNEAU
The Corrupt and the Innocent


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Corgi, London, 1968
(price: 3s 6d; 176 pages)
(first published in Great Britain under the title Way Out by Barrie and Rockliff 1966)

dedication: This novel is for Polly and Jim


The blurb on the back:

DONNA - She was seventeen years old, pony-tailed, and everyone's idea of the girl next door.
Her sudden rise to fame in the pop-world took everyone by surprise: Jack Darrin, publicity agent; Trudy Hart, the record company's established singer; and Donna herself, who had come too far too fast.
And then she came to the attention of those ruthless men who hang on to the fringes of the business like flies around a honey-pot.


It starts in classic hard-boiled style:

I don't know when I stopped believing in innocence. At a guess, along about the time of the first martini. That was at the age of fifteen, which is for me half a lifetime ago.

You kind of know where you are, don't you? You know that if you look up you'll see a sign that reads 'Welcome to Chandler Country'. The narrator may be a PR man rather than a PI but the essence is undiluted.

And it's not bad at all, if you like this kind of thing. It doesn't really have anything much to say about the music business, but it is one of the earliest attempts to bring pop into an established detective format, and thus lays the foundations for the likes of Some Lie and Some Die and Steel Guitar.


ARTISTIC MERIT: 3/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
2/5


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