HARDBOILED FICTION - Both hardboiled and noir crime fiction are rooted in dime novels, muckraking newspapers and pulp novels beginning in the depression and eventually going out of fashion by the sixties. A hardboiled protagonist is a cynical detective caught up in aftermath of violent crime or a corrupt legal system very often portrayed as an antihero. A noir protagonist is a victim, a suspect, or a perpetrator with a self-destructive streak often put in a position to victimize self or others, trapped in a losing situation. The following are some of my favorites. Enjoy!
The Maltese Falcon (1930)
When a detective’s partner is shot, he finds trouble, desperate to track down a valuable treasure.
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934)
A drifter gets himself caught up in a bizarre love triangle.
The Big Sleep (1939)
A PI agrees to help a family with a case of gambling debt but once the murders begin, he finds himself in over his head.
The Black Curtain (1941)
An amnesiac can’t remember anything yet finds himself identified as a murder suspect.
I, The Jury (1947)
A tough detective investigates the brutal murder of his best friend.
The Nine Wrong Answers 1952
John Dickson Carr
A whodunit featuring a series of nine incorrect answers, leading up to the final correct answer.
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1955)
A father gets more trickery than he bargained for when he asks a supposed friend for help to convince his playboy son to come home.