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.
Herron
Hubin
Pronzini & Muller, p. 308-309
MRJ