The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett

I enjoyed reading that detective story five years ago.


There are at least 8 characters :

  1. Ned Beaumont
  2. Paul Madvig
  3. J.M. Farr
  4. Janet Henry
  5. R. Henry
  6. Opal Madvig
  7. Taylor Henry
  8. Shad O’Rory


Senator R. Henry’s son, has been killed in the street (he was struck on the forehead by a walking stick). Ned Beaumont (NB) discovered the body and informed the police. He met Paul Madvig (PM), who run the city, and told him about the murder but PM didn’t seem to be worried and he made NB the special investigator.

Janet Henry, the sister’s victim, is led to believe that her brother was murdered by PM who is in love with her.

PM’s daughter, Opal, is now firmly convinced that her father is the murderer of her boyfriend.

NB didn’t succeed in persuading her neither J. Henry nor Opal Madvig that the lover and the father were innocent.

N. Beaumont and M. J. farr have received anonymous letters about Taylor Henry’s murder.

Corruption and Violence

There is a pervading atmosphere of corruption and violence in the city where the events took place and senator R. Henry gets Paul Madvig’s large backing up to help him get re-elected. Besides, investigator Ned Beaumont is Paul Madvig’s best friend.

Ned Beaumont paid a visit to the Henrys in order to tell the senator the whole story about the murder. The senator first mad believe he was shocked and threatened to take revenge on Paul Madvig but Ned Beaumont prevented him from doing so.

The detective story raises many questions everybody is invited to answer in their own ways.


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