Welcome to the Dark Underbelly of the Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge, spanning the narrow entrance to San Francisco Bay and connecting the city of San Francisco with Marin County to the north, was opened to traffic on May 28, 1937. Despite the fact that its design and construction was fraught with controversy, and even its distinctive color (officially known as “International Orange”) came about somewhat by accident, the bridge quickly became the region’s most recognized structure, surpassing Coit Tower, built a few years earlier, and capturing the public imagination in ways that its sister bridge, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, never quite could.
Images of the iconic bridge soon began to appear on the covers of mystery novels set in the San Francisco Bay Area even when the Golden Gate Bridge plays no part in the action. For example, one of the earliest jackets to feature a representation of the Golden Gate Bridge was 1940's Murder Loves Company by John Mersereau. Ironically, a major plot development takes place on the Bay Bridge, with much of the action occurring on Treasure Island during the Golden Gate International Exposition. Nevertheless, the abstract bridge in the cover design is clearly the Golden Gate.
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