by Mickey Spillane
Hard Case Crime
Available 30 Oct.
At the time of his death, last year, writer Mickey Spillane left four unfinished manuscripts. Two were Mike Hammer stories, one was an adventure yarn and the fourth was this hard-nose cop thriller. Spillane’s long time friend and protégé, Max Allan Collins assembled and produced the finished book with the use of the late writer’s notes. It is fitting that this truly terrific mystery should be published by Hard Case Crime, a publisher Spillane applauded for recapturing the excitement and fun of the old post-war paperback pulps.
Whenever reviewing such a posthumous effort, the temptation is to spend time praising the life and career of the deceased. I’m going to do my best to avoid that snare, as there are plenty of other, more capable reviewers to do that. But I will add my own personal observations relating to this specific title at the end.
After twenty years on the force,
Now Stang learns Bettie is not only alive, but the accident induced both blindness and amnesia. Through the benevolence of the people who rescued her on a
We sympathize instantly for at the emotional roller-coaster Stang endures in Bettie’s presence. He can’t come out and reveal their amorous past for fear of frightening her, yet he must find a way to rekindle her memories before it is too late. This is a taut, fast pace thriller with allegories aplenty. Spillane was aware that the book might be his last and he takes advantage of every scene to communicate with his legion of readers what a good and righteous battle is all about. It is a terrific farewell from one hell of a pulp writer.
In THE SHOOTIST, John Wayne’s last movie role was of an aged gunfighter dying of cancer. It was obvious to all that the Duke was playing himself and saying so long to all his fans. Reading through