"Gores . . . is as resourceful as the Master himself, and has dreamed up an evocative picture of San Francisco in 1928—with its beauty, its venality, its dirty cops and politicians. Try not to miss this book." — The New York Times
Part thriller, part fictionalized history, part biography, this gripping tale centers on the legendary author of The Maltese Falcon. Recounted in colorful underworld argot by three-time Edgar Award winner Joe Gores, the story traces Dashiell Hammett's eager return to his career as a private investigator, as he attempts to uncover the truth behind the brutal murder of an old friend amid the bordellos and gambling dens of 1920s San Francisco. But many years behind a typewriter have dulled Hammett's detective skills even as they've sharpened his fear of death — leaving him all too aware that one misstep could end both his life and his hopes for literary immortality. The basis for a 1982 film adaptation by Wim Wenders, it offers a splendid introduction to Hammett's world.
"Not since Hammett and Chandler has anyone written quite as well as Joe Gores." — Ross Thomas