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The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett
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The Glass Key (1931)

by Dashiell Hammett

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Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
I had seen the film, and had always wanted to read the book. Cannot go wrong with Dashiell Hammett. This was a real treat for this crime book lover. ( )
  phillipfrey | Nov 8, 2017 |
The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett is a hard-boiled puzzler that keeps the reader guessing until the end. The main character is Ned Beaumont, a professional gambler and racketeer who works for his friend, political boss Paul Madvig. He is investigating the murder of a local senator’s son, even though all the evidence points to Madvig being the killer. Meanwhile in the background, both a political race and a potential gang war are building.

At one point or another suspicion falls on just about every character in the book, the reader isn’t ever totally sure of Ned’s motivation as this character is kept remote and never indulges in any inner monologue. Is he trying to clear Madvig or drag him into it. Madvig himself is trying to stay clear of it as he is in love with the senator’s daughter and doesn’t want to be blamed for the death of her brother. Unfortunately for him, the senator’s daughter and Ned are also developing feelings for each other.

The Glass Key has constantly shifting human relationships, glimpses of underworld corruption and the seedy alliances between that world and the political one. This along with Hammett’s visual and stylistic writing ensure that this book well deserves it’s “classic” rating. ( )
1 vote DeltaQueen50 | Aug 19, 2017 |
Fun story and lots of twists and turns! I really liked how the author used the main character's whole name in the narrative, not just his first name or the pronoun 'he'. It really added something to the tale! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jan 23, 2016 |
Good, but not great. Kind of slow moving, but it did have interesting characters. ( )
  rrbritt53 | Oct 27, 2015 |
Pretty disappointing. Somebody gets killed - Taylor Hearst. Someone looks guilty - Paul Madvig. Through the most of the book the presumed perp - Madvig - looks more and more guilty. The protagonist - Ned Beaumont - spends all his time trying to prove he is not guilty, but only uncovers more damning evidence. Everybody, even his own daughter - Opal - is sure he is guilty. Eventually Paul Madvig even confesses to the murder. But NO! In the last 5 pages, the protangonist - Beaumont - suddenly reveals the real killer. It is someone the reader couldn't possibly figure out was guilty because the are no hints or clues given to the reader. Beaumont pulls the solution out of a proverbial magician's hat. The real culprit is brought to justice. All the false clues are resolved and the hot babe runs off with Ned Beaumont. This is basically the same kind of plot device used in every Perry Mason episode, except that on TV the device actually works. I also don't think much of Hammett's writing style, which is widlely admired apparently. In general I think Hammett is a wildly overrated script writer, writing stories that are clearly driven by the requirements of Hollywood. ( )
  clarkland | Oct 21, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dashiell Hammettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Aristovulos, NickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McNeilly, EllenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Green dice rolled across the green table, struck the rim together, and bounced back.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679722629, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:47 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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?… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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