Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

The Big Knockover
Dashiell Hammett

£9.99

Dashiell Hammett’s Continental Op was the prototype for generations of tough-guy detectives. Short, squat and as stubborn as a mule, the Op’s only enthusiasm was doing his job. In the stories in The Big Knockover, the job means solving the bank heist to end all bank heists, taking on a gang of freebooters, cleaning up a vice-ridden hell in the desert and dealing with assorted colourful grifters like the Dis-and-Dat Kid, Alphabet Shorty McCoy and Bluepoint Vance.

Paperback, 448pp
Orion, 2012
ISBN 9781409138068

Biography

DASHIELL SAMUEL HAMMETT (1894-1961) was born on a farm in southern Maryland, and grew up in Philadelphia and Baltimore. He left school at the age of fourteen, and after various jobs became an operative for Pinkerton’s Detective Agency. The First World War intervened, and Hammett soon turned to writing, becoming, during the 1920s, the unquestioned master of detective-story fiction in America. The Maltese Falcon (1930), The Thin Man (1932) and The Glass Key (1931) are among his most famous novels.