Books

by Mickey Spillane
Harcourt, October 2008, $

Truth be told, Mickey Spillane's last few fiction outings bore faint resemblance to the white hot passion and gut-level fury of his best work. But this, the first of several planned posthumous releases tidied up and completed by Spillane's number one fan, friend and frequent accomplice, crime writer Max Allan Collins, sets the world right the way only Manhattan private eye Mike Hammer can--with guns blazing and righteous rage. The risque humor, the Miller beer product placement, the senior sex scenes (Mike and Velda ain't getting any younger) and the cell phone and Bin Laden references may jar, but this is in almost every other way primal Hammer, defiant and gleefully anachronistic, refusing to make nice to anyone. It's 100% pure pulp, an old school spit in the face of modern complacency and current crime fiction's moral and ethical gray areas. All the Spillane trademarks are here: the hardcore violence and the softcore sex, a Big Apple still rotten to the core, and an idea of justice torn right out of the Good Book. But this time it's not just the justice that's coming from the Old Testament--it's also the source of the MacGuffin around which this mystery revolves, as Hammer finds himself playing nursemaid and bodyguard to a couple of love-struck and well-heeled New York college kids who may or may not have stumbled across the earthly remains of Goliath. Yeah, that Goliath. And in this case, the over-sized leg bone's connected to just about everything that matters to Mike: love, honor, justice and duty. It's also drawn the attention of just about every legit and not-so-legit government and terrorist group around the world. They all want it--or want it destroyed. The only thing standing in their way is the battle weary Hammer, who's seriously considering retirement and marriage, after all these years, to his beloved and eternally patient Velda, only to have those plans once again put on hold. Spillane reportedly had the partial manuscript for this one stashed in a closet for years, and only hauled it out after 9/11, but never completed it. Upon his death, and following Spillane's wishes, Collins dusted it off and wrapped it up, fleshing out the story and even adding a few distinct touches of his own, but Spillane's spirit is intact. This is, according to Collins, the last Hammer book Spillane was working on, and is to be the last book chronologically in the series, but there are several more posthumous collaborations in the works, all based on Spillane's ideas and notes. It remains to be seen whether Collins will be able to maintain the prolonged balancing act, but for this first effort, he has done both himself and his idol proud. Mickey would approve.

Kevin Burton Smith

Truth be told, Mickey Spillane's last few fiction outings bore faint resemblance to the white hot passion and gut-level fury of his best work. But this, the first of several planned posthumous releases tidied up and completed by Spillane's number one fan, friend and frequent accomplice, crime writer Max Allan Collins, sets the world right the way only Manhattan private eye Mike Hammer can--with guns blazing and righteous rage. The risque humor, the Miller beer product placement, the senior sex scenes (Mike and Velda ain't getting any younger) and the cell phone and Bin Laden references may jar, but this is in almost every other way primal Hammer, defiant and gleefully anachronistic, refusing to make nice to anyone. It's 100% pure pulp, an old school spit in the face of modern complacency and current crime fiction's moral and ethical gray areas. All the Spillane trademarks are here: the hardcore violence and the softcore sex, a Big Apple still rotten to the core, and an idea of justice torn right out of the Good Book. But this time it's not just the justice that's coming from the Old Testament--it's also the source of the MacGuffin around which this mystery revolves, as Hammer finds himself playing nursemaid and bodyguard to a couple of love-struck and well-heeled New York college kids who may or may not have stumbled across the earthly remains of Goliath. Yeah, that Goliath. And in this case, the over-sized leg bone's connected to just about everything that matters to Mike: love, honor, justice and duty. It's also drawn the attention of just about every legit and not-so-legit government and terrorist group around the world. They all want it--or want it destroyed. The only thing standing in their way is the battle weary Hammer, who's seriously considering retirement and marriage, after all these years, to his beloved and eternally patient Velda, only to have those plans once again put on hold. Spillane reportedly had the partial manuscript for this one stashed in a closet for years, and only hauled it out after 9/11, but never completed it. Upon his death, and following Spillane's wishes, Collins dusted it off and wrapped it up, fleshing out the story and even adding a few distinct touches of his own, but Spillane's spirit is intact. This is, according to Collins, the last Hammer book Spillane was working on, and is to be the last book chronologically in the series, but there are several more posthumous collaborations in the works, all based on Spillane's ideas and notes. It remains to be seen whether Collins will be able to maintain the prolonged balancing act, but for this first effort, he has done both himself and his idol proud. Mickey would approve.

Migration Assistant
1337

by Mickey Spillane
Harcourt, October 2008, $

Spillane
October 2008
The-Goliath-Bone
Harcourt