Paul Madvig was a cheerfully corrupt ward-heeler who aspired to something better: the daughter of Senator Ralph Bancroft Henry, the heiress to a dynasty of political purebreds. Did he want her badly enough to commit murder? And if Madvig was innocent, which of his dozens of enemies was doing an awfully good job of framing him? Dashiell Hammett's tour de force of detective fiction combines an airtight plot, authentically venal characters, and writing of telegraphic crispness.
A one-time detective and a master of deft understatement, Dashiell Hammett virtually invented the hard-boiled crime novel. This classic Hammet work of detective fiction combines an airtight plot, authentically venal characters, and writing of telegraphic crispness.
"Hammett's prose was clean and entirely unique. His characters were as sharply and economically defined as any in American fiction. His gift of invention never tempted him beyond the limits of credibility."
-- The New York Times