I’m reading “The Big Knockover and other stories” by Dashiell Hammett at the moment. The first story, “The Gutting of Couffignal”, is quite poor, with only a few customary Hammett marks. The second one is a vast improvement on the first. “Fly Paper”, along with its hard-bioled edge, has a twist ending which you won’t see comeing a mile off. The third story, “The Scorched Face”, is so good I won’t say anything about it, except its the scariest short story I have read in a long time. The fourth one, “This King Business”, I have only just finished reading, is quite odd, as it is about a private detective getting mixed up with a revolution in central Europe. Its still excellent. The rest of the short stories I have yet to read are:
“Dead Yellow Women”
“The Big Knockover”
"$106,000 Blood Money"
and “Tulip” which is all that emainds of Hammett’s last, incompleted at the time of his death, novel.