The tragedy that readers face is not reading a book that is amazing because it didn’t cross your path. But when a great novel does cross your path, you are grateful for all the choices that led to that moment. And one book I am grateful to come across is The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
When Samuel ‘Sam’ Spade, a private detective, and his partner Miles Archer are hired by Miss Wonderley to follow someone who has run off with her sister, it sounds like a basic job. But when Archer is shot and killed, Sam is out for revenge.
When another person visits Sam and wants to hire him to find the Maltese falcon, a black statue that is worth a lot, things start to get complicated. There are multiple parties pursuing the Maltese falcon and it may be why Archer was killed. And Sam is caught up in the chase for the falcon and can’t trust anyone or he may end up like his friend.
Not many detective novels are as good as this novel. The characters in the book are first-rate and ruthless. They will go to any lengths to achieve their goal and Hammett makes that clear. And Sam is a great protagonist. His experience, ruthlessness, and his own code of honor make him hard to root for but he is the best that we get and have no choice but to root for him.
As someone who loves Agatha Christie novels, Hammett’s novel is a complete 180 and still amazing. The attention to detail and the gritty characters make this a novel that you can’t help but fall in love with. So I recommend picking it up and giving it a read.