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Posted April 29, 2013
The originator of the tough as nails private detectives is Mike Hammer. He's the man who if he smells a murder where others smell a suicide, it's best to listen and keep your mouth zipped as he walks you through all the facts.
This story takes Hammer on one of his wildest rides yet. From the first sentence things go wrong for him: "The guy was dead as hell. He lay on the floor in his pajamas with his brains scattered all over the rug and my gun was in his hand." The trick of it is Mike Hammer wakes up with a hangover the devil would whine about and, what's worse, he's being slapped around by a copper. Eventually he is saved by the only man he can ever rely on, Captain Pat Chambers, a good cop who knows the line he cannot cross in order to catch a murdering psychopath, a line demarcating a kingdom where Hammer is king and executioner. Still, things are bad for Hammer, real bad. Chester Wheeler, an old WWII buddy of his, is lying in the next room with a bullet in his head, a bullet that he somehow got from Mike's gun.
As author Max Allan Collin's puts it, "this time it's personal." Similar to all Hammer stories, he doesn't sit around and get assigned to a strange and mysterious case, no one comes knocking on his door like with that brilliant, deer-stalker wearing private consultant from across the pond. Nope. With Mike Hammer, he's got to get to the bottom of his friend's death, dubbed a "suicide" by the D.A.
Mike can handle it. He's got Velda, his receptionist with a P.I. license and an itch to crank off her little deadly pea shooter. She'll help him, but not without teasing the juices out of his loins. For while Mike Hammer is probably one of the ugliest fiends ever to put on a suit and gun holster, his straight forward focused mind and his uber-strong hell-fire spitting body is enough to impress any woman. The smart of the crop know that to get a knight like him, they'll have to play a game that most of his other women haven't survived--talk about putting a hamper on someone's love life. You love `em, they try to kill you; you try to protect `em, they end up broken and bloodied. But some would say the ride's worth the fall, and with these women it's hard to focus your gaze away from the riveting curves and the alluring innuendos.
The lasting quality and resonating influence of Mickey Spillane's characters are undeniable--if you don't believe that just flip on the television and you'll see Hammerlike characters in every cop show around. What's even more lasting than his characters is his style.
He stylized the cool man of blunt force action:
"I dived toward the origin of the snorts and crashed into a pair of legs that bucked with a hoarse curse and the next moment a fist was smashing against my jaw driving my head against the floor. Somehow I got out of the way of that fist and slugged out with my forearm trying to drive him off me...
All I knew was that I had to get up...had to get my feet under me and heave to get that thing off my back. Had to get up so I could use my hands on any part of him I could grab. I did it without knowing it and heard him ram into a chair and knock it on its side...
My teeth must have been bared to the gums and I screamed when I went in for the kill because I had him cold."
You'll not soon forget Mike Hammer's women:
"For the first time since I came in I took notice of her. I don't know how the hell I waited so long. Velda was wearing a sweeping black evening gown that seemed to start halfway down her waist, leaving the top naded as sin. Her hair, falling around her shoulders, looked like onyx and I got a faint whiff of a deep, sensual aroma.
There was no fullness to the dress. It clung. There was no other word for it. It just clung, and under it there wasn't the slightest indication of anything else."
With this mystery thriller you'll enjoy more than raunchyness and action. You'll see a determined will-to-win like you've never seen one before; you'll see a man who is his own authority; a man who knows he's right because he's damn good at the knowin'. The complexity of his dealings with the oodles of women who throw themselves at this tough guy, his desire to walk away and his failure to do so, his love of his profession, will all add up to a world you rarely get to experience.
You may never find yourself face to face with a criminal blackmailing organization. Likely to say you won't be face to face with an ex Nazi sympathizer who wants you dead. Less likely you'll find yourself in a modeling agent and one of them whispers "make me." But the situations you will in fact find yourself in will be pleasantly shaded by Spillane's world. You'll close this novel and look at your lover like you've never looked at them before. Or you'll see potential lovers as wonderful dames to be achieved--or you'll view yourself as the wonderful dame. You'll see the city in which you live in as full of danger and exciting action. Without knowing it your ability to understand the people around you will have shifted. Your job, your friends, even your self-image will all alter just by meeting and delving into: Vengeance is Mine.
Posted February 10, 2010
No text was provided for this review.
Posted May 18, 2010
No text was provided for this review.