Tagged: Mickey Spillane


By Stephen Jared
Solstice Publishing
303 pages
In the early 1920s, former Army Lieutenant Walter Steale has returned to civilian life and settled down in Los Angeles amongst the glitz of the silent movie world.  His one ambition is to put the horrors of World War One behind him and get on with a normal, peaceful life. Unfortunately his brother, Sam, the state’s Lieutenant Governor, coerces him into working as hired muscle for his crooked boss, Governor Davies.  This leads Steale into brutal confrontations with crazy mob gangsters and a prostitution ring tied to several corrupt politicians.
When a gang boss is murdered in a bombing and then Steale himself is targeted in another, even in his wounded condition he is savvy enough to realize he’s been set up as a patsy by his own brother. To clear his name and stay out of jail, Steale must rely on the courage of Virginia “Ginny” Joy, a beautiful young movie actress whose star is on the rise. As unlucky a couple as can be imagined, Ginny has fallen hard for the veteran doughboy and is willing to jeopardize her own career to save his neck.
Author Stephen Jared is an accomplished film actor with a vast knowledge of early Hollywood history which he deftly employs here by creating a truly authentic background for his wonderfully crafted mystery.  Refusing to mimic classical noir settings, Jared presents a truly straight forward and original narrative that moves at its own leisurely pace.  Then when the reader least expects it, he delivers scenes of gut wrenching violence in such a cold, calculating style, this reviewer was reminded of the late Mickey Spillane’s work.
TEN-A-WEEK STEALE was a nice surprise in many ways, exceeding my own expectations and in the end delivers a better than average tale in a field overrun with cheap knock-offs.  Wally Steale and Ginny Joy make a nice team, let’s hope we get to see them again real soon.



By Max Allan Collins & Mickey Spillane
Titan Books
241 pages
Available May 2012
After returning home from World War II, veteran Mickey Spillane was prepared to go back to his civilian job of writing comics.  But instead, he opted to take an idea for a new comic series and turn it into a private eye novel called, “I, The Jury.” Released in 1947, it was the first book to feature tough-as-nails Mike Hammer. (His last name pretty much defining everything he was about.)  The book was a phenomenal success and the publisher was eager to get Spillane to do more.  Three years later the first Mike Hammer sequel, “My Gun is Quick” appeared on the bookstore shelves and became as big a seller as the first.  Both Spillane and his creation were on their way to becoming literary icons.
When Spillane passed away several years ago, he left his notes and such to his friend and protégé, Max Allan Collins.  Among these files were bits and pieces of unfinished Mike Hammer mysteries.  Getting the green light from several excited publishers, Collins set about finishing these projects and getting them in print.  Thus far we’ve seen three;
“The Goliath Bone” (2008), “The Big Bang” (2010) and last year’s “Kiss Her Goodbye.”
Now comes the fourth and perhaps the most anxiously awaited of the entire lot.  You see, according to Collins’ prologue notes, “Lady, Go Die” is actually the original sequel Spillane had intended to follow “I, The Jury.”  Why he never finished it and instead completed and offered up “My Gun is Quick” is a puzzle no one will ever be able to fully solve.  Still, it adds a generous slice of real mystery to this story that was envisioned by one of the greatest writers of our times nearly seventy years ago.
Taking up where the first Hammer book left off, “Lady, Go Die” finds the irascible P.I. and his gorgeous brunette secretary, Velda, traveling to a little beach resort town in Long Island for some R & R.  Velda and Hammer’s cop pal, Det. Pat Chambers, think the emotional battering he suffered in his first case has left Hammer in need of some quiet time.  Alas, as they discover all too speedily, Hammer’s personal shadow is called Trouble.  No sooner does the couple arrive in Sidon, nearly deserted in its off-season, then they witness the brutal beating of a slow-witted drifter by three policemen, one known to Hammer as a dirty cop from the City.
Hammer steps in, pounds a few heads and rescues the helpless young man.  Within hours, he and Velda learn that the small community is in a tizzy, as its most popular citizen, a famous ex-dancer turned media celebrity has vanished without a trace.  Days later, her nude body is found draped over the stone statue of a horse in the park on the public beach.
Hammer smells the familiar odor of corruption and begins to investigate on his own. He soon learns the dead woman’s mansion was in actuality a secret gambling casino being fronted by a mob personality whose identity is carefully hidden.  As if that weren’t enough to keep Hammer and Velda busy, dodging lead and wrestling with gangster muscle, their inquiries also unearth other, supposedly unrelated murders; all of young women in neighboring towns and counties.  Now the savvy Hammer has to follow two different trails and decide if they connect or not.  Suddenly he’s confronting dangerous mob gunsels at the same time hunting a twisted serial killer who may be targeting his next victim.
“Lady, Go Die” is another terrific Mike Hammer caper that moves non-stop like a flying cheetah across the reader’s field of imagination and comes to a pouncing kill in a truly classic Spillane finale.  A big tip of the pulp fedora to this one, gents.


ALL PULP REVIEWS-Book Reviews by Ron Fortier
By Mickey Spillane & Max Allan Collins
Hard Case Crime
247 pages
Release date 4 Oct 2011
In 1967 popular mystery writer, Mickey Spillane, sought to cash in the James Bond spy craze sweeping the world of literary fiction.  He created a Florida based government agent named Morgan the Raider; obviously referencing the famous pirate with the same name.  The book was titled THE DELTA FACTOR and the plot revolved around Morgan and a beautiful female agent, Kim Stacy, going to a South American island to rescue a scientist being held by terrorists.  Spillane had begun work on a sequel when THE DELTA FACTOR was made into a rather bland, lackluster movie in 1971 and disheartened by that film; he shelved the new book and never completed it.
Forty-four years later, thanks to Spillane’s good friend and protégé, crime novelist, Max Allan Collins, fans can now enjoy that sequel, THE CONSUMMATA.  The story takes places only a few months after the events in the first book, with Morgan now a felon having been framed for an armored car hold up that netted the thieves forty million dollars.  Although innocent, the only way he can prove his innocent is to find the stolen loot and return it, all the while eluding both local and government agents.
As if that isn’t trouble enough, he finds himself entangled with a group of Cuban exile patriots living in Miami who have become victims of a lowlife named Jamie Halaquez;  a spy for dictator, Fidel Castro.  Halaquez has stolen the rebels’ war chest containing seventy-five thousand dollars; money intended to fund the group’s activities and help other refugees flee Cuba.  Owing them a debt of honor, Morgan volunteers to find Halaquez and return their money. 
Less than twenty four hours later, a bomb destroys the hotel room in which Morgan was to have set up his base of operations.  Only through a sixth sense honed through years of espionage work does Morgan avoid being killed but at the same time is made aware that there is another spy in his new circle of friends.  Now things are really complicated, in a very deadly way.  At the same time he is playing detective in the seamy world of Miami’s sex clubs, unknown killers are dogging his trail.
THE CONSUMMATA is a typical pedal-to-metal Spillane thriller that zips along at a fast, gut tightening pace filled with lots of sexy and dangerous women and a true exotic mix of colorful supporting characters from both sides of the law.  There are always a few critics who will claim they can discern where Spillane left off and where Collins took over the yarn. This reviewer is happy to say he is not one of those.  This is a seamless adventure that moves smoothly from chapter to chapter with one clear and exciting voice, echoing the bullet-blasting tales of a true Mystery Grandmaster.