Joe Gores. Hammett (1975) 261 pp.
It’s 1928 and Dashiell Hammett is supposed to be revising The Dain
Curse for his publisher. He lives in a small apartment at 891 Post
Street, drinks too much, and has developed an attachment to a beautiful
young woman named Goodie Osborne. An old colleague, Vic Atkinson, from
the Pinks (Pinkerton Detective Agency) shows up and asks Dash to join him
in the PI game again. Atkinson has been brought to San Francisco by a reform
committee dedicated to cleaning up graft in the city. Hammett refuses—he’s
a writer now, not an op anymore. When Atkinson is murdered, Hammett feels
obligated to find the killer. So, he gets the committee to authorize him
to continue the investigation—which brings him up against bootleggers,
gangsters, white slavers, corrupt cops, and a young Chinese prostitute
who is not what she appears, as he tries to clean up a wide open city that
no one really wants cleaned up.
Pronzini & Muller, p. 308-309