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‘Dashiell Hammett is an original. He is a master of the detective novel, yes, but also one hell of a writer’ BOSTON GLOBE

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.

Reviews

His name remains one of the most important and recognisable in the crime fiction genre. Hammett set the standard for much of the work that would follow
INDEPENDENT
He is master of the detective novel, yes, but also one hell of a writer
BOSTON GLOBE
The first fully "hard-boiled" hero in American letters
NEW YORKER
Hammett's prose is clean and entirely unique. His characters are as sharp and economically defined as any in American literature
NEW YORK TIMES
He put these people down on paper as they are, and he made them talk and think in the language they customarily used
Raymond Chandler
Dashiell Hammett's crime thriller and its hard-boiled hero Sam Spade influenced everyone from Chandler to Le Carré
GUARDIAN