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Extended Audio Sample The Dain Curse, by Dashiell Hammett Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,531 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dashiell Hammett Narrator: Richard Ferrone Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Continental Op is a short, squat, and utterly unsentimental tank of a private detective. Miss Gabrielle Dain Leggett is young, wealthy, and a devotee of morphine and religious cults. She has an unfortunate effect on the people around her: they have a habit of dying violently. Is Gabrielle the victim of a family curse? Or is the truth about her weirder and infinitely more dangerous? The Dain Curse is one of the Continental Op’s most bizarre cases and a tautly crafted masterpiece of suspense.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Everything about the Leggett diamond heist indicated to the Continental Op that it was an inside job. From the stray diamond found in the yard to the eyewitness accounts of a ‘strange man’ casing the house, everything was just too pat. Gabrielle Dain-Leggett has enough secrets to fill a closet, and when she disappears shortly after the robbery, she becomes the Op’s prime suspect. But her father, Edgar Leggett, keeps some strange company himself and has a dark side the moon would envy. Before he can solve the riddle of the diamond theft, the Continental Op must first solve the mystery of this strange family.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Not just the first of the tough school of crime-writing but the best…Hammett saw the rotten underbelly and wanted others to see it.”

    Times (London)

  • “Hammett’s heroes are not merely tough; they often confront violence with full knowledge of its inherently corrupting potential.”

    The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English

  • “Cool, tough, and hard-boiled in attitude, [Hammett’s] works employ Hemingway’s mood and spare, realistic dialogue in the genre of the detective story.”

    The Concise Oxford Companion to American Literature

  • “There’s plenty of reason to suppose that Chandler wouldn’t have created Marlowe, Macdonald wouldn’t have created Archer, Nebel wouldn’t have created Donahue, etc., etc., etc., had Hammett not first created the Op.”

    Jim Doherty

  • “The Op, the durable survivor, just goes about his hired business and underplays his hand before he applies the thumbscrews…unhampered by either imagination or fear.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “In The Dain Curse the Op returns in a more melodramatic tale involving jewel theft, drugs, and a religious cult.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Darusha Wehm | 2/18/2014

    " This novel is very much three interconnected stories in one, which felt a little strange at times, but Hammett pulls it all together in the end. The reveal has a little of the feel of deus ex machina, but it does make sense in the context of the story. A fun read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jennifer Busick | 2/16/2014

    " This one would make a good Quentin Tarantino or Oliver Stone movie. Lots of blood, dead bodies and double-crosses. And drug abuse. Everything they'd need. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Dave | 2/8/2014

    " Liked this much better than Red Harvest. That was just senseless violence, this had much more of a mystery-type plot that was really fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Chaz | 2/5/2014

    " Thank you, Hammett! There's now no longer any doubt in my mind that this man was a master of detective fiction. Gabrielle Leggett is an endearing character who originally I thought was just another femme fatale who has a strong taste for morphine and cults... but this is only on the surface. After about 70 pages I thought I had everything figured out and that this long and tangled crime thriller was simple and direct. not so. The Continental Op is a tough detective and no 'sentimental sap' he is a character who functions purely on logic and facts. Another quick fun read that bring you back to the 1920s and simpler but just as ruthless times. "

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