Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kiss Her Goodbye by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins

Title: Kiss Her Goodbye
Author: Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins

Genre: Fiction (Detective / Historical)
Publisher/Publication Date: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 5/25/11
Source: NetGalley

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. 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.

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