ashiell Hammett marked his 117th birthday this week by alerting me to what may be a mistake in a new crime novel. In this new book, muzzle flash
in a suddenly dark room lets one character pick out another's facial features.
Eighty-one years earlier, Hammett had written the following in "Suggestions to Detective Story Writers":
"It is impossible to see anything by the flash of an ordinary gun, though it is easy to imagine you have seen things."
© Peter Rozovsky 2011
Labels: Dashiell Hammett, editing