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The stunning prequel to Dashiell Hammett’s crime classic THE MALTESE FALCON.

When Sam Spade gets drawn into the Maltese Falcon case, we know what to expect: straight talk, hard questions, no favours, and no way for anyone to get underneath the protective shell he wears like a second skin. We know that his late partner, Miles Archer, was a son of a bitch; that Spade is sleeping with Archer’s wife. What we don’t know is how Spade became who he is. Now SPADE & ARCHER completes the picture.

1921: Spade sets up his own agency in San Francisco and clients quickly start coming through the door. The next seven years will see him dealing with booze runners, water-front thugs, stowaways, banking swindlers, gold smugglers, bumbling cops, and the illegitimate daughter of Sun Yat-sen; with murder, other men’s mistresses, and long-missing money. He’ll bring in Archer as a partner, though it was Archer who stole his girl while he was fighting in World War I. He’ll tangle with a villain who never loses his desire to make Spade pay big for ruining what should’ve been the perfect crime. And he’ll fall in love – though it won’t turn out for the best. It never does with dames…

Reviews

Not only authentically Hammett-ish but also a great stand alone read...a classy ventriloquist act of a book.
CATHOLIC HERALD
Beginning in 1921, it maps out the back story to Sam Spade and Mike Archer's relationship via a pleasingly intricate and atmospherically hard-boiled plot before ending at the exact point The Maltese Falcon begins.
LONDON METRO
Stunning
BIG ISSUE IN THE NORTH
And the great testament to Gore's skill is that, within minutes of opening it, you're very likely to have forgotten you're not actually reading a Dashiell Hammett novel. The great gumshow is back. In spades.
THE HERALD
Joe Gores has acheived a near perfect duplication of the self-styled detective Sam Spade
TELEGRAPH & ARGUS
Gores catches to perfection the period flavour, the noirish atmosphere and, above all, Hammett's terse style...It left me aching for more.
Simon Shaw, MAIL ON SUNDAY