Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, Paperback, 9780375701023, 432pp.
Publication Date: September 12, 2000
"Hammett's pioneering hard-boiled style has been much imitated, but the original--packs a wallop."--The New Yorker
Here are twenty long-unavailable stories by the master who brought us The Maltese Falcon. Laconic coppers, lowlifes, and mysterious women double- and triple-cross their colleagues with practiced nonchalance. A man on a bender awakens in a small town with a dark mystery at its heart. A woman confronts a brutal truth about her husband. Here is classic noir: hard-boiled descriptions to rival Hemingway, verbal exchanges punctuated with pistol shots and fisticuffs. Devilishly plotted, whip-smart, impassioned, Nightmare Town is a treasury of tales from America's poet laureate of the dispossessed.
"Nightmare Town, with its crystalline prose as spare as Hammett himself, is a welcome treat." --The Baltimore Sun
"Hammett's work carries an authenticity and raw power that few writers, before or since, have been able to equal." --The San Diego Union-Tribune
"Hammett's legacy as a giant of crime fiction lives on. The stories are gritty and realistic, full of crisp, sparse dialogue. . . . Like the sting of whiskey as it goes down and the pungent smell of a strong cigar, Hammett's stories and characters don't fade quickly." --The Columbus Dispatch