'Dashiell Hammett is an original. He is a master of the detective novel, yes, but also one hell of a writer' BOSTON GLOBEDashiell Hammett's Continental Op was the prototype for generations of tough-guy detectives. Short, squat and as stubborn as a mule, the Op's only enthusiasm was doing his job. In the stories in THE BIG KNOCKOVER, the job means solving the bank heist to end all bank heists, taking on a gang of freebooters, cleaning up a vice-ridden hell in the desert and dealing with assorted colourful grifters like the Dis-and-Dat Kid, Alphabet Shorty McCoy and Bluepoint Vance.
Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) was born in Maryland and worked in a number of menial jobs until he became an operative for the Pinkerton Detective Agency. His experiences as a private detective laid the foundations for his writing career. His work includes Red Harvest, The Maltese Falcon, The Glass Key, The Thin Man and some eighty short stories, mostly published in Black Mask magazine.