Wednesday, June 2, 2010

SPADE & ARCHER by Joe Gores

The Prequel to Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon
Publisher: Vintage
Date published: March 2010
ISBN: 978-0-307-27706-0
Reviewed by Valerie
Obtained by Publisher

Seven years before Sam Spade solves the famous case of the Maltese Falcon he sets up his own agency in San Francisco. He hires Effie Perrine, or she hires herself. He won’t do domestic, but he is soon busy finding missing people, dealing with booze runners, gold smugglers and bumbling policemen. Later, Miles Archer joins him. Miles is married to Sam's old lover, Iva, who he took up with when Sam went to war. Iva however, is still interested in Sam and they start an affair. Of course, this might not turn out as the best thing, as taking on Miles may not turn out too well either.

All through the years, Sam is after the one villain who seems to always slip through his fingers.

I haven’t read Dashiell Hammett’s THE MALTESE FALCON, nor can I remember seeing the film though I am sure I have. Taking this book on its own, though, I must say, that I enjoyed the story. It reminded me of those old dark, noir detective films of long ago. Those kind of films with Humphrey Bogart smoking a cigarette, on a dark, rainy corner. I enjoyed reading about the characters, where they came from, how they got together and how they interacted with each other. I also enjoyed the mystery and crime elements too. It seems that Mr. Gores has captured the era, the feeling and the actions of the 20’s and I felt like I was taking a trip back in time while reading. Now I want to pick up THE MALTESE FALCON and read the continuing story.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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