->''This damned burgís getting me. If I donít get away soon Iíll be going blood-simple like the natives.''
-->--'''The Continental Op'''

''Red Harvest'' is a seminal novel by Creator/DashiellHammett, first published in 1929. It is narrated by Literature/TheContinentalOp, a recurring character in Hammett's world. The novel has had a great deal of influence on later fiction ranging from samurai films to noir. Being called to the mining town of "Poisonville" (actually Personville), the Op discovers that the city is being run down by criminal gangs. The detective is hired to clean up the place, and mayhem ensues.

''Red Harvest'' is thought to have been an influence on Creator/AkiraKurosawa's film ''Film/{{Yojimbo}}'', and combined with ''Literature/TheGlassKey'' is a heavy influence on the Coen Brothers' noir film ''Film/MillersCrossing''. ''Red Harvest'' also coined the term BloodSimple (after which the Coen Brothers' film debut is named); the phrase refers to the addled, fearful mindset people are in after a prolonged immersion in violent situations.

''Red Harvest'' is not related to ''Literature/StarWarsRedHarvest'' or ''[[Film/ReturnOfTheJedi Blue Harvest: Horror Beyond Imagination]]''.
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!!This novel provides examples of:

* AffablyEvil: Max "Whisper" Thaler
* AlasPoorVillain: [[spoiler:Reno, the last villain to die, is mortally wounded and tells his story to the Op as a way of staying brave. The Op understands and seems sympathetic]].
** It's possible to feel somewhat sorry for [[spoiler: Noonan]] by the time he dies, considering that he had a legitimate,[[spoiler: if misdirected]], reason to hate Whisper and genuinely wanted to make peace with other feuding parties.
* AmoralAttorney: Charles Proctor Dawn is little more than a crook and blackmailer.
* AntiHero: The Continental Op
* BadassDriver: Dinah Brand.
* BigBeautifulWoman: Dinah Brand, though to the Op she's more of a BrawnHilda (he describes her as large-- taller than him, though he's admittedly on the short side-- and strong, with thick, muscular legs that constantly make her stockings run).
* BigEater: Dinah Brand occasionally talks about how hungry she is. At one point she demands that the Op take her out for an enormous quantity of chow mein.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: Our protagonist is an anti-hero working for a ruthless industrialist who came to power using unscrupulous means. The antagonists are corrupt cops and gangsters that worked for the industrialist.
* CleanUpTheTown: By applying his trademark method of stirring things up.
* CodeOfHonour: Despite his rather questionable means, the Op does have his own code that he follows. It is for this reason he refuses personal payment for the job. He insists that Elihu bill the Continental Agency instead.
* TheConfidant: Dinah to the Op.
* CompanyTown: Personville, essentially the fiefdom of industrialist Elihu Willsson, "Czar of Poisonville".
* DivideAndConquer: The Op's strategy.
* DirtyCop: Chief Noonan and his police force. In fact, they're one of the factions the Op needs to take care of.
* DragonAscendant: Reno Starkey, once [[spoiler:he kills Lew Yard when the gangster attempts to eliminate him.]]
* DualWielding: Big Nick shoots at the Op with a pistol in each hand. It doesn't work out for him.
* EnemyCivilWar: Once he gets enough incidents going, the Op has Elihu's enemies at each others throats.
* FatBastard: Chief Noonan.
* FirstPersonSmartass: The Op.
* AFistfulOfRehashes: The TropeMaker.
* GambitPileup: While the Op is the catalyst, all the other factions are trying to manipulate each other as well.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: As the violence escalates the Op worries that the more he stays in the town, the more he'll be too affected by the violence:
--> '''The Op:''' Play with murder enough and it gets you one of two ways. [[WarIsHell It makes you sick]], or [[BloodKnight you get to like it]].
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: The Op's reasoning to Dinah in regards to his methods. Since Elihu refuses to aid him, the detective has to resort to unsavory means to accomplish his goal.
* IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace: Poisonville.
* {{Frameup}}: Several, including who killed Donald Willsson, Tim Noonan, and [[spoiler: Dinah Brand]]. The Op does this to Noonan during the "peace conference" [[spoiler: by saying the Police Chief knew all along that Whisper was being framed for Tim's murder. Noonan knew nothing about it at all]].
* MerchantPrince: Elihu Willsson, the "Czar of Poisonville.". A powerful and rich industrialist, he had influence over half of California and is the de facto rule of a city until he lost control of the corrupt officials and gangs that helped him put down a worker's strike.
* MobWar: Two of the factions are traditional mob gangs, and another a bootlegging operation. [[spoiler: Once Noohan gets picked off, the gangs are the only sides left in action.]]
* NoIndoorVoice: Elihu, who bellows so loudly that the Op often scolds him for it. At one point he puts his fingers in his ears until Elihu quiets down.
* NoNameGiven:
** We don't learn the Continental Op's name, nor does anyone refer to him as "the Continental Op."
** The Continental Detective Agency's leader is known only as the Old Man.
* OnlyInItForTheMoney: Dinah admits freely that she's only ever interested in money. She provides the Op with the intel he needs (even on her former boyfriend Thaler), but only in hopes of him paying her. They bicker over the price constantly.
* OutlawTown: Personville is run by crooks.
* PeaceConference: After a series of incidents, the various factions plus the Op meet in an attempt to end the bloodshed. [[spoiler: The Op uses this as an opportunity to further escalate the violence.]]
* PhraseCatcher: As noted above, the name of the town is Personville, but as the Op says in the first line of the novel, Poisonville is a lot more apt.
* PinkertonDetective: The Continental Detective Agency is a thinly-veiled expy of the Pinkertons.
* TownWithADarkSecret: The reason why criminals and dirty cops rule Poisonville-- they worked for Elihu to stop a union strike. Since they know his dirty secrets, Elihu doesn't bring in the authorities to clean up the town.
* PlayingBothSides: The Op plays four or five sides against each other.
* PrettyInMink: The only time the Op describes Dinah as pretty is when she's wearing a fur coat.
* RedRightHand: Whisper is the most dangerous villain in town. An old injury causes his speech to come out in a hoarse whisper.
* ScrewPolitenessImASenior: Elihu Wilsson is constantly making blunt demands.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: Charles Proctor Dawn, although given that he's a cheap, crook lawyer, this may be more of a case of DelusionsOfEloquence.
* SetAMookToKillAMook: One of the {{Trope Codifier}}s. The whole point of the conflict [[spoiler: is to get the gang leaders (who know Elihu's secrets) to kill each other. Once they're out of the way, the industrialist is set to call in the authorities.]]
* SheCleansUpNicely: The Op notes that Dinah actually does look attractive once she's earned some money, gets a fur coat and cleans herself up.
* StoutStrength: The Op states that some of his 190 pounds is fat, but not all of it. Dinah Brand can throw a pretty good blow too.
* ThrowingTheFight: As part of a plan, the Op contacts a boxer paid to take a dive. Using some blackmail, the Op convinces the boxer to win instead.
* TheUnfettered: The Continental Op will get the crooks he's after, no matter what it takes or how many laws he has to break.
* TheVamp: Dinah Brand, who's apparently gotten the favors of quite a few men in town. However, the Op is thoroughly unimpressed by her appearance and powers of persuasion.
* WarIsHell: The conflict between the various factions gets very violent, sometimes explosively. [[spoiler: It actually gets to be too much for Noonan, who was willing to give in to any demand in the end.]]
* WhereTheHellIsSpringfield: We're never told where Personville is located.
** It was based on Butte, Montana, but might be located in California gold country, given that the Op is based out of San Francisco.
* WretchedHive: Upon arriving in Personville, the Op takes some time to get a sense of the town. Within minutes, he notes from the general decay and lackluster police how crapsack the city is.
* YoureCuteWhenYoureAngry: Inverted-- the Op tells Dinah when she loses her temper at one point that she looks "downright brutal."
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