I thought Dashiell Hammett would be Chandler-lite, but I found myself enjoying Red Harvest slightly more than Big sleep (this, like many other things, only goes to show how silly preconceived notions are).
Our detective is anonymous – he’s only a Continental op, a generic noir detective. And make no mistake – it’s as noir as they come. The city of Personville (or Poisonville, as it’s colloquially known) reads a bit like a simple strategy-based game: you always know (or at least or op does) that if you resort to action A you will get reaction B. There’s a dose of predictability but, strangely enough, it didn’t diminish my enjoyment – actually, I think I got more than I bargained for. The murder (which I thought would be the central point of the investigation) is solved in the first chapters and ends up being the domino that puts the whole chain in motion (like so – I know it’s old, but it’s still pretty cool). We’ve got a city run by 4 gangsters and, in the hope that he will restore some order, the detective schemes to set them one against the other. Order born from chaos – as it very well should be – and a fun read.
LE: I just realised I forgot something: yesterday, this blog turned 3. I know it’s not much, but for me, having stuck with it for so long is a bit of an achievement and I didn’t want the moment to pass unnoticed 😀