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.
The Maltese Falcon Summary
Samuel ‘Sam’ Spade and his partner Miles Archer are both private detectives and they are approached by “Miss Wonderley” for a job She wants them to follow Floyd Thursby who has run off with her sister. It sounds like a basic job and the duo accepts.
Archer takes the first shift and follows Thursby but is shot and killed. Thursby is later also killed and Sam is suspected of killing him as revenge. Sam approaches Miss Wonderley who is actually Brigid O’Shaughnessy and she opens up about the Maltese Falcone statuette that is worth a lot of money.
Brigid isn’t the only person after the statuette as Sam is visited by another person who wants him to find the Maltese falcon. Multiple parties are pursuing the Maltese falcon and it may be the reason why Archer was killed. 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.
The 1941 movie adaption of the same name featured Humphrey Bogart and was critically acclaimed. This movie launched Bogart’s career and he ended up playing many charcters similar to Spade. A sequel to the movie was discussed but the studio was unable to agree on the salary with Hammett. There were also two other movie adaptions of the book prior to the 1941 version that didn;t do as well.
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. This book creates a thrilling atmosphere that pulls you in and you need to know where it will lead. Spade gives off Batman vibes without the plot armor surrounding the superhero.
This is not a book that you will see on many lists because it is very old. It was published in 1930 as a novel and the movie is the more popular format of the two. But it is still a great read and gives you the classic detective book and an epic adventute. I ebjoyed. itit a lot and recommend it. toanyone who like a good mystery novel.
1 thought on “The Maltese Falcon: Book Review”
I love the movie with Humphrey Bogart and didn’t realize that originally there was a book. I am looking forward to finding it and reading it soon.