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5 Novel Noir / American Noir / Hard-boiled Private Investigator

Dashiell Hammett
The Maltese Falcon
1989 (First published: 1930)
Archetypal tough guy, detective Sam Spade, risks his reputation by trying to help a beautiful young lady. As his partner gets killed Spade is suspected for murder. The story is a complex web of betrayal and deception, in which everyone tries to get the gold statuette of a falcon. Sam's masculine strength is refreshing in today's world of male insecurity. Also an excellent movie with Humphrey Bogart - but the book is better. More ...
217 Pages
Georges Simenon
Dirty Snow 
2003 (First published: 1950)
Set in occupied France during WWII, Simenon's bleak masterpiece is a dispassionate description of human cruelty. No other writer has achieved the psychological intensity of Simenon. “What many regard as the finest of all noir novels…"--Tim Rutten, The Los Angeles Times   More ...
272 Pages
James M. Cain
The Postman Always Rings Twice
1989 (First published: 1934)
Cain started a new genre: American noir fiction. It may be full of despair, sweltering greed, dark violence and raw sex, but the no-nonsense description of humanity heading towards destruction is impossible to resist. In his laconic style Cain tells the story of Frank, a tramp, who his attracted to Cora, the young wife of brutally violent Nick. When Frank and Cora start an affair behind her older man's back, the story is heading for disaster. More ...
116 Pages
Michael Allen Rose
Embry: Hard Boiled
Our hero wakes up one day to find that some upstanding citizens have been scrambled. The king, his horses and his men are now after our hero for a crime he didn’t commit and proving his innocence is going to be nearly impossible - particularly if you are a chicken. A darkly comic novel noir. More ...
178 Pages
Truman Capote
In Cold Blood
1994 (First published: 1966)
A masterpiece from the author of "Breakfast at Tiffanies". With this thriller Capote invented a new genre. It reconstructs the 1959 murders of four members of the Clutter family in the small farming community of Holcomb, Kansas. Capote describes the investigations, capture, trial and execution of the killers in harrowing, yet empathic prose. More ...
343 Pages

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