Dashiell Hammett's first novel, Red Harvest, is an enjoyable book to read because it is entertaining, but, at the same time, worthy of analysis. An anonymous "continental operative," a detective, is summoned to Poisonville on a secret mission by the owner of the town's newspaper and isn't to find out what the reason is until he gets to town. The man that summoned our narrator, the detective, is killed, however, before we or he ever get to figure out what job he is supposed to do. But, because Willsson is dead, the narrator has a job, anyway. In solving this murder, the narrator begins to find more and more crime. Behind one crime there is another, and, after that, another and another. Everywhere he looks there is more scandal and corruption, and in only person in town, a prostitute, can he even find a friend. The book is pretty entertaining, but it kind of fades out on the last twenty pages or so and loses your attention, at times. It's nice reading books, though, where the characters actually go places and do things--Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest is a wonderful alternative to Virginia Woolf.