The Dain Curse
The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett was Hammett’s second novel featuring the Continental Op. This book is basically three short stories tied together with common characters and the unfortunate happenings to the “Dain” family. I read this back on my flight from Rome. It worked OK in that role as it was short and fast.
So far, Hammett isn’t growing on me as quickly or as well as Chandler did when I read through his novels. Out on the internets I see lots of people extolling Hammett’s prose and plotting, but I’m not really seeing it so far. The Op isn’t particularly likeable. The end story in this one was supposed to tie things together, but the result was one of those invented endings where it looks like Hammett wanted to tie things together and just fit the ending to make things work out. There wasn’t anything really leading to that ending. The dialogue speaks very much like many movies from the forties. You can hear the inflected accents as the actors try to be earnest. I’m not sure that’s a really good thing.