New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1931. First American edition. A presentable copy of Hammett's fourth novel. Book Very Good + with the spine a bit toned and some spotting to the rear board; extremities a bit rubbed. Otherwise, internal contents are in excellent condition. Lacking the dust jacket.
The Glass Key follows a gambler, Ned Beaumont, who gets in over his head when he becomes involved in a murder investigation. It is considered by many to Hammett’s best work. It was a major influence on the hard boiled genre from one of its greatest practitioners. The book was adapted into a radioplay starring Orson Welles in addition to a well reviewed 1942 film with Veronica Lake, Alan Ladd, and Brian Donlevy. Writing in The Guardian, author James Ellroy said of the book: “The Glass Key is Hammett's last great work of fiction. It's a model of economical storytelling. It's sombre and invigorating in equal measure. It's a predator's vision of the American jungle, and a book with a deep and troubled love for America - this huckster's paradise - itself. Hammett was the great poet of the great American collision - personal honour and corruption, opportunity and fatality.” Very Good + (Item #3083)