This reminded me so much
of the "writing like an old white guy" thing. Which is no surprise, since I imagine Raymond Chandler and other noir authors were the primary inspirations for that. I spent great parts of this book laughing out loud because of that...
I should probably do some soul searching to figure out why, being an ardent feminist and SJW, I still enjoy the noir genre so much. It is permeated throughout with racism, misogyny and homophobia. The early novels, like this one, written in the 30's, are even worse. I honestly don't know. I cringe at every instance, but for some reason I find it easier to overlook than in other books that claim to be politically correct. Maybe it's the honesty of the thing; maybe I'm so tired of handling veiled aggression and disguised contempt that I've actually come to appreciate open hostility in a controlled environment when I find it. Or maybe it's because they're so exaggerated, filled with self-importance and pomp, they become a caricature, and it's easy to appreciate and laugh at something when it's only in a book.
In any case, this particular book is a classic of the genre. It has all the elements characteristic of it: over-dramatic 1st person discourse, crooked cops, mafia-like gangsters, femme fatales who are desperate for the protagonist's dick (for no discernible reason), such wild and exaggerated reactions from the characters that will make you wonder if they're not all bipolar, a hypocrite set of moral values that allows you to objectify and brutalize women, ostracize people exclusively for their sexuality and assume people are stupid and violent just because they're black but won't let you actually write the word "fuck"
It's a good, nostalgic read. But I very much hope the people who like this book don't do so because they fantasize about this universe. Just the thought that this could happen is enough to make me fell less safe.