A detective story written in 1920, about a two-fisted private detective who solves mysteries and kills every single criminal in a small town. I liked the book, though I wouldn't necessarily want to read many more like it. The writing is pleasingly sparse and to the point, and I enjoyed the constant stream of 1920's slang. There is a lot of plot in this 200 page book, and a constant stream of mid-level deception. Almost too much? Basically everyone in the town is lying to everyone else at all times, if you go with that assumption you will have an easier time of keeping up with the plots. On the downside, the general vibe of the book (constant lies, violence, and murder, navigated and instigated by a omni-competent hard man) isn't really a favorite of mine as a fantasy. I think this book might be what people are talking about when they say "toxic masculinity". :)
Perhaps just as interesting as the book itself is that it has been pre-figured for me for years. The first part of Philip Palmer's _Version 43_ is an extended homage/subversion of this book, and there is a memorable Iris Murdoch character, who is her take on the author of this book. The Murdoch character is one of my favorites and one that I think back to reasonably frequently, so it was neat seeing the source material.