Author: Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins
Genre: Fiction (Detective / Historical)
Publisher/Publication Date: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 5/25/11
Rating: Hardcore like!
Did I finish?: Yes -- best two days ever!
One-sentence summary: Mike Hammer meets disco upon his reluctant return to New York City.
Why did I get this book?: Mike Hammer and I went steady for a while when I was a teenager and I was ready for a reunion.
Reading Challenges: Criminal Plots, E-books, Femme Fatale, Historical Fiction
Do I like the cover?: Yes -- it's got that pulp-y, hard boiled feel and suggests disco and the '70s.
I'm reminded of...: Mickey Spillane (this is a good thing!)
First line: I didn't want to come back to New York.
Did...my brain melt at the thought of Mike Hammer in a disco?: YES. Maybe one of the best scenes in a book, ever. EVER.
Did...I love the way New York City featured in this book?: YES. Place as character for sure, and what a nasty, moody beast, too.
Review: I went through this phase in high school where I just inhaled super macho men's thrillers. Mostly I alternated between Clive Cussler and Mickey Spillane, with some Stephen Hunter thrown in for variation. As a result, I'm super sentimental about all three authors even though it's been more than a decade since I've read any of their books.
I'd sort of forgotten about Mike Hammer until spotting the newest one on NetGalley and suddenly, that's all I wanted in the world. As I said, it had been more than ten years since I last read a Mike Hammer novel, but from the first sentence, Kiss Her Goodbye felt just like what I remembered Hammer novels to be: punchy, violent, sorta sexy, grim, and dead fun.
The writing had everything I wanted (craved, even) from a Mike Hammer novel: smart, sly banter; straightforward mystery, sexy women, bad criminals, and a morally ambiguous hero. Perhaps if I read an earlier Mike Hammer novel just before starting this one, I might have been able to discern where Spillane ended and Collins began, but in the two days it took me to finish this one, I didn't catch an off note or uncharacteristic response. (In fact, the only change I noticed was with me: I'm a little more squeamish about the violence!)
This can be read as a stand-alone novel for anyone new to Mike Hammer -- enough context is given to explain past characters and plots -- and certainly anyone familiar with the series will enjoy this offering.