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The Dain Curse (The Continental Op Book 2) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 241 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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- Book 2 of 2 in The Continental Op (2 Book Series)
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Top Customer Reviews
The Op beat, bludgeoned and shot his way through countless short stories, several of which Hammett later "cannibalized" (to use Raymond Chandler's term for a process he himself would employ) into two novels, one of which is "The Dain Curse," originally serialized in Black Mask magazine before its book publication.
Melodramatic in tone, ranging from San Francisco's Pacific Heights to the semi-fictional town of Quesada (an interesting blend of Monterey and Half Moon Bay, in actuality), the novel follows the Continental Op as he solves several seemingly disparate mysteries before he realizes that those "solutions" are bogus and that he can only get to the true bottom of matters and achieve a genuine resolution by "lifting" the "curse" which 20-year old Gabrielle Leggett is convinced dooms her.
She has a drug habit. Through a mixture of cajolery and bullying, the Op sets out to cure her. And Hammett's true genius begins to show itself:
Throughout the first half of the novel, Gabrielle is, frankly, insipid and easily dismissed.Read more ›
Diamonds have been stolen, and the Continental Op has been called in to find out what has happened. But he finds that the whole story that is given to him has a "wrong" feeling to it -- mysterious men, a diamond he finds on the ground. When the Op digs further, he finds a web of murder, jealousy and hate that spreads back over young Gabrielle Leggett's life.
After the trauma of her father's murder, the Op takes Gabrielle to the Temple of the Holy Grail, a San Francisco cult. At first it seems like a slightly goofy but harmless little pseudo-religion -- until a hideous specter in the Op's room, and a murder that seems to have been committed by Gabrielle, shows that something sinister is lurking there. And finally, the "Dain curse" seemingly strikes again when Gabrielle's young husband is found dead...
Before anyone knew about Sam Spade, Hammett was churning out pulp fiction about the Continental Op in his trademark spare, sharp prose. "The Dain Curse" feels like three loosely connected short stories -- only Gabrielle Leggett ties them together, and the idea of the "Dain curse" (which is never fully dealt with -- though it makes an enticing title) which supposedly kills everyone around Gabrielle.
Hammett's writing is as dry and spare as always. However, the stories sometimes seem too short, especially the second one, which ends on a hurried note (we're only told of Gabrielle's marriage as a sort of postscript).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I came to read this after watching the film version. Both were good but as is usually the case, the book surpassed the film. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Jess F.
Probably the worst mystery that I have ever read. The author is better than this.Published 12 months ago by Mr. William R. Hewton
Far different from today's novels, Hammett's work might be difficult for some to be swept away by the narrative. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Lit Teacher
When a Continental Detective Agency operative is called in by an insurance company to investigate the theft of eight loose diamonds, he quickly realizes that there is more to this... Read morePublished 17 months ago by The Reviewer Formerly Known as Kurt Johnson