Erik Larson Picks ‘The Maltese Falcon’ for WSJ Book Club

March 5, 2015 9:00 PM

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Erik Larson Picks ‘The Maltese Falcon’ for WSJ Book Club

There was a time when Erik Larson could recite from memory an entire speech from “The Maltese Falcon”—the final monologue in which hard-boiled detective Sam Spade explains the code by which he lives. The speech is the book’s final reveal, unveiling the moral compass of a character whose journey has left the reader dizzy with false clues and competing motives.

Mr. Larson’s best-selling books include the nonfiction thriller “The Devil in the White City,” about a serial killer at the Chicago World’s Fair on the eve of the 20th century. When The Wall Street Journal asked him to select a title for the WSJ Book Club, he turned, once again, to “The Maltese Falc...

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