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Mike Hammer: Complex 90 Hardcover – May 7, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Since Spillane’s death in 2006, Collins has been busy completing the pulpmaster’s unfinished work, including Mike Hammer novels from various moments in the iconic PI’s career. This one, a follow-up to The Girl Hunters (1961), is set in 1964. Hammer has just come back from fighting his way across Russia after a bodyguard gig for a conservative senator led to Hammer’s abduction by the KGB. But now, it seems, the commies have followed him to New York. But why do they want him? Is it simply revenge for the 45 men he killed while escaping, or something more? Collins has Spillane down cold, from Hammer’s manic grin to his charged patter with the lovely Velda. And while there are hints the world is changing, Hammer hasn’t changed a bit. He’s still an unreconstructed, red-blooded American male who holds lily-livered bureaucrats in sneering contempt. It’s an entertaining time-capsule, but a little goes a long way. Are there still fans crying out for new Hammer adventures? And will they pay for them in hardcover? That’s a mystery yet to be solved. --Keir Graff


"Mike Hammer is an icon of our culture." (The New York Times)"

Product Details

  • Series: Mike Hammer
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books; 1st edition (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857684663
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857684660
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #774,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Randy Johnson VINE VOICE on May 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Max Allan Collins gets better with every Mike Hammer novel he completes from partial manuscripts left in Mickey Spillane's papers. If one believed in that sort of thing, one might say he was channeling the late author.

This one was originally announced for publication in the sixties, but was abandoned for some reason. It's a sort of sequel to THE GIRL HUNTERS(brief aside. I always liked the filmed version and thought Mickey did a better job playing Mike Hammer than he was credited). And Collins encourages the reader in the introduction to picture Mike as Hammer(something I've done in all these slate of co-authored novels.

Here, Mike accompanies a conservative Senator on a fact finding mission when his regular bodyguard is killed in an assassination attempt and Mike gets a minor leg wound stopping the killer.

Once there, Mike gets arrested while out walking off a heavy meal and taken into the back of a prison. He doesn't waste any time when he gets a shot and fights his way out of the prison, gun blasting and spends two months getting out of Russia. He fights and kills forty-five in that effort.

The bulk of the novel is the aftermath when he gets back. The Russians are screaming, American politicians are screaming, and Mike isn't taking s*** from anybody. There is the very real possibility of him being turned over to the Russians to avoid an "international incident."

Mike and Velda find themselves targets of both sides as they dig to find out what's really going on.

Nicely paced Hammer thriller that I devoured in a couple of sessions in the afternoon.

Worthy of a read.
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Format: Hardcover
Just finished reading the latest Spillane/Collins collaboration and found it satisfying. Most of the expected elements are there--brutally bad villians, good/bad girls {dames?broads?}, a visit with Capt Pat Chambers, Velda in danger, and lots of good old smashmouth violence. The story moved along well and kept me in suspense even though I pretty much knew who was going to live and who wasn't. The fun is in seeing how they die. A couple of times I wasn't even sure how Mike was going to get out of the spot he was in, and it seemed neither did he, which is a sure sign of good writing. Most of Spillanes books fall into a pattern and this one was no different. You know that one of the broads is bad and is just playing him. You know that one of the seemingly good guys is also bad, and you can figure out who is who easily enough. As I said, the fun is hanging on til the end when justice is served. Minor drawbacks--like the James Bond movies, the villians explain everything to Mike just before they attempt to kill him, instead of just killing him. This helps to explain stuff to the reader but doesn't make much sense in the world of kill-or-be-killed.Also like Bond, Hammer kills a ridiculous amount of sorry individuals which stretches believability.There are a couple of instances where the time-line might not be accurate. Theres a reference to Warhols Campbell Soup can painting which may have come later. Same with the "make love, not war" line and another reference to miniskirts. Not sure if all that was there in '64. And, I was shocked that Velda asked Mike to 'take' her in an unconventional way. Just didn't seem like something they would do. And, as always, I feel like I can literally tell which lines or paragraphs were written by Collins. It's not an entirely seamless collaboration, but it is good enough. Now go read it before I smack you around, tough guy!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins' newest `collaboration' is a great read. Nobody makes this look easier than Mickey and no one can polish/finish like Max. This will go down in history as one of the great literary collaborations.

Complex 90 is set in the cold war--Mike Hammer meets (and defeats) the commies. The book's greatest one-liner (adopted as a tagline as part of the jacket notes): "They can't torture you if you kill them first."

For some reason or other (a point that will prove crucial to the plot), Mike has been asked to serve as a body guard for an American senator, taking a self-financed fact-finding tour of Moscow. When Mike is picked up on the Moscow streets and hustled off to a local prison for interrogation (for no apparent reason) the plot begins in earnest. Mike exits the prison (stepping through the blood and over the bodies) and wends his way through eastern Europe, escaping on an American troop plane in Turkey. There are forty-five bodies in his wake.

This constitutes the first act of the novel and does not occupy as much space as one might expect. The real story then transpires in New York. What was really going on here? Why was Mike selected to accompany the senator? Who was behind that? Why was he abducted?

On the one hand there is a blast from the past--spies and ne'er-do-wells who have tangled both with Mike and with Velda (herself a spy for a time, remember) are still around and hungry for revenge. There is also a scientific study under way, one which will give a decided advantage in the space race. Are the russkies working with an American traitor?

The book is effortless in its silky-smooth plot. No one plots with the ease and finesse of Mickey.
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