One Pinkerton operative who achieved an enviable reputation for strike-breaking and surveillance was Dashiell Hammett. If his first novel, Red Harvest (1929), achieves exceptional richness of detail in its presentation of labour conflict and local corruption in “Poisonville”, it may be due to his personal involvement in the 1920 miners’ struggle on which it’s based. As in The Maltese Falcon, appearing in the same year, Hammett’s first-hand experience of political sleaze, industrial violence and the everyday routine of an agent allowed for a realism that brought hard-boiled fiction to new heights.
Thursday, March 03, 2016
… Hard-boiled, hard-edged and Hollywood | TLS. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)