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Effective Detectives with Linear Perspective

The novel versions of some of your favorite crime and detective films featuring some awfully clever private investigators with unmatched craft and wit.

Cain, James M.
Double Indemnity
Deceit, insurance fraud and murder work together to result in the unraveling of a complex narrative. Cain writes the perfect tale of a seemingly good-guy gone awry when an innocent insurance salesperson gets mixed up with the murderous plan of a wealthy wife.
 
Chandler, Raymond
The Big Sleep
First of the Philip Marlowe novels, the calmly cynical private investigator is introduced. This time, he is in search of the blackmailer of a wealthy oil tycoon's daughter and soon finds himself in danger.
 
Hammett, Dashiell
The Maltese Falcon
Considered to be Hammett at his best, hired detective Sam Spade lands himself to be both prey and predator. The theft of a coveted falcon statue is priceless enough to warrant murder. Spade finds himself in a struggle between love and wealth.
 
Highsmith, Patricia
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Tom Ripley is a young American sent to Italy by a wealthy father to persuade his son Dickie, a former pal, to return home. Through first person narration, Ripley develops an increased and dangerously unhealthy infatuation for Dickie and will stop at nothing short of murder to achieve his obsession.
 
Hunter, Evan
The Blackboard Jungle
In this outrageously raw and shocking picture of school violence, Hunter draws from personal experience to depict a distressed New York City public school system. Richard Dadier expects the worst from his untamed and angst ridden students but gets more than he bargained for.
 
Spillane, Mickey
Kiss Me, Deadly
The last of the five Mike Hammer novels, the detective is left to tackle the mafia. Stylishly written and horrifically unexpected, Hammer finds himself deciding between a much desirable prize and a woman's life.
 
Thompson, Jim
The Grifters
Greed and love create a blend of deception for the unwitting. In the classic style of pulp fiction, Thompson's world is gritty, sleazy and yet utterly convincing.
 

Updated:08/27/2009