The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

American writer Dashiell Hammett wrote the classic novel The Maltese Falcon.

It was originally serialized, like many of Charles Dickens’ works, in the Black Mask magazine in 1929 to 30. The book was made into the classic film of the same name with actors Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Sydney Greenstreet and incredible Peter Lorre.

Sam Spade is the main character and practises as a private detective, in partnership with Miles Archer, in San Francisco.

A glamorous beauty, Miss Wonderly, hires them to follow a man called Floyd Thursby, who she says has run away with her sister. Archer sets off to follow Thursby, but winds up dead that night. He’d been shot. Next Thursby gets himself killed and the police suspect Spade.

Miss Wonderly is unmasked. She is actually called Brigid O’Shaughnessy. It transpires that she is  on the hunt for a very valuable black statue of a falcon. She is not the only one. A shady Greek called Joel Cairo and Casper Gutman are also after the falcon. Gutman has in his service, one Wilmer Cook, a young, volatile, gun-totting thug. O’Shaughnessy will not spill the beans to Spade, though she is desperate for his help.

I can’t tell you the rest as it would spoil such a wonderful plot.

It is a story which is full of mystery, intrigue and thrills set off with a touch of the exotic.

Dashiell Hammett wrote this best seller novel, The Maltese Falcon, while living at 891 Post Street in downtown San Francisco. He is one of the worlds finest writers of detective novels and his work endures.

The Freedom Trap by Desmond Bagley

The Freedom Trap by Desmond Bagley

The Freedom Trap by Desmond Bagley

Another novel by Desmond Bagley, author of The Vivero Letter, one of my all time favourite writers. I only wish I could have met him.

The Freedom Trap was first published in 1971 and is said to be loosely based on the escape of, spy, double agent and traitor depending on your point of view, George Blake from prison five years earlier. It was made into a film in 1973, called The Mackintosh Man, starring Paul Newman.

The story starts with Joseph Rearden who is a villain from South Africa . He meets an agent of MI5 in London called Mackintosh, who recruits him for an assignment. It is a dangerous task and is to trap The Scarperers  who are a well known gang of criminals who gaol-breaking long-term prisoners. He is also to catch Slade who is a Russian double agent whom they recently helped to escape. Rearden is told to rob a postman with a packet of uncut diamonds. He is then  ‘caught’ and sent to jail in hopes that he can contact the Scarperers. It is a clever and exciting plot which races to Malta and beyond……well worth a read.

In the mid 20th century, British writers such as Hammond Innes, Alistair MacLean, Desmond Bagley set out the conventions of the thriller genre. Their heroes were  a resilient and resourceful ordinary individuals facing tremendous odds. The villains were utterly ruthless in pursuit of their goals.

Buy now on AMAZON: