The Understated Falcon

I finished The Maltese Falcon already. Short books, crappy internet, and 3-hour car rides will do that for you.

The book wasn’t what I was expecting. I guess because I live in a sensationalized, Dan-Brown, action sort of world, I thought it would have a lot more action, intrigue and over-the-top conspiracies. Instead, it was understated. The Knights Templar/artifact with dubious history was really just a vehicle for advancing the plot. Hammett focused very little on the falcon itself and rather on Spade and the characters involved.

THAT, friends, is what a good mystery book should do. It’s nice to read a book that can mention the Knights Templar and conspiracy theories only fleetingly. I wasn’t aware that you could do that sort of thing. How refreshing.

Anyway, I could easily picture the fast-talking Sam Spade bantering with the cops and comforting hysterical women. I appreciated his humor and the witty writing style.

At times I felt a bit lost with all of the driving around. In parts, too, I felt like there were plot holes where the characters both knew something that I didn’t. To make matters worse, they wouldn’t tell me what they knew. I felt a little lost when that happened.

Anyway, overall I enjoyed my first real detective novel. I was a little underwelmed by the lack of conspiracy theory, but now that I think about it, I like that. They don’t write them like that anymore. (Except they probably do)

Rating: ****
Up Next: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier


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