Thursday, October 14, 2021

"Woman in the Dark" by Dashiell Hammett

After rereading Trouble is My Business by Raymond Chandler last month, I began to crave more hardboiled detective stories of that same era.  But I have a strict rule about only reading one Chandler book a year that I only fudge on in the must extreme circumstances.  And this didn't feel extreme.  So I had the happy thought of rereading Dashiell Hammett's books.  I read all his novels and short stories in one fell swoop almost 20 years ago, with the result that I can only remember the ones that I've also seen movie versions of, namely The Thin Man, The Maltese Falcon, and The Glass Key.  And even those, I know, are somewhat different from the movies, though I can't remember how.

So, I'm rereading a bunch of Dashiell Hammett.  Some friends on Instagram are hosting #AMonthOfMystery for October, challenging participants to read a lot of mysteries in October because why not?  So I'm joining that because I never need any excuse to read more mysteries and talk about them with bookish friends.  And Woman in the Dark is my first book read for that event.

It's not quite even a novel, really -- it's a slim novella.  But whatever.  It was really enjoyable.  I found myself rooting so hard for Brazil, an ex-con with a temper and dangerous fists, and Luise Fischer, a kept woman trying to get away from the brute who thinks he should be allowed to keep her.  Everything goes sideways and down for a long time, but there's a surprisingly hopeful ending that I absolutely loved.

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG-16 for oblique references to sex, considerable violence, and some bad language.


  1. Replies
    1. Same here! I was like, oh, let me protect and defend him from the mean people <3


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