Hammett’s second novel; one of his “Continental Op” stories, concerning the (alleged) curse besetting a young San Francisco heiress who sees all persons close to her die a violent death within a very short space of time. A classic noir tale, though the damsel in distress is actually not so much “damsel” as in genuine distress; with everything from an obscure cult that could give any of the more recent real-life ones a run for their money, a lonesome cliffside mansion, plenty of flying bullets and other sinister doings, and plenty of “saps,” “chumps,” and “swell” things and characters. I like the Op’s narrative voice; it’s unsentimental and matter of fact, but without quite the level of cynicism of Chandler’s Philip Marlowe. The Op also genuinely cares for the lady’s well-being and goes to quite a distance on her behalf, without claiming even half his well-deserved laurels at the end.
Beyond the 100th Meridian
Reviews and Blog Posts
0 thoughts on “Dashiell Hammett: The Dain Curse”