I just read "The Glass Key" by Hammett between reading this book and writing the review so there is probably some unavoidable comparison.
I liked this book a lot and raced through it pretty quickly. I thought the characters were pretty much all interesting people with unique psychologies rather than stereotyped tough guys or high class dames. The movement of the plot also kept me interested to find out what was going on. I also liked the sidelights on various aspects of the LA scene.
One thing that kind of got to me though was the way people were constantly saying something to get under someone else's skin. It just found it a little annoying how constantly people were trying to outdo each other in being rude or insulting but at the same time not be crude.