If you like Hammett's other stories, you'll like this too, but it is different from his Continental Op and Sam Spade stories. Instead of being centered around a private detective, the protagonist is a not quite as clever as he thinks ward heeler for a city political boss. Common Hammett themes of blackmail, vice, power and violence play out, along with lot's of snappy dialog, but the characters are a little more human. This makes the work a little less pulpy but offers satisfying characters in its stead. The Coen Brothers' "Miller's Crossing" draws heavily from this book, but they are two separate stories.
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