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Mike Hammer: Lady, Go Die! (Mike Hammer Novels) Hardcover – May 8, 2012
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”Once again, Collins displays his mastery of Spillane’s distinctive two-fisted prose.” - Publishers Weekly
"Collins knows the pistol-packing PI inside and out, and Hammer’s vigilante rage (and gruff way with the ladies) reads authentically." - Booklist
About the Author
Mickey Spillane is the legendary crime writer credited with igniting the explosion of paperback publishing after World War II as a result of the unprecedented success of his Mike Hammer novels. Spillane's novels sold tens of millions of copies - I, The Jury went through more than 60 paperback printings in 1947 alone. In 1995, he was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. Before his death at the age of 88 in 2006, Spillane chose long-time friend Max Allan Collins to complete his unfinished work and act as his literary executor.
Max Allan Collins is the bestselling, award-winning author of Road to Perdition, the graphic novel that inspired the Oscar-winning movie starring Paul Newman and Tom Hanks, and of the acclaimed Nathan Heller series of historical hardboiled mysteries. Also a filmmaker himself, Collins' films include the documentary Mike Hammer's Mickey Spillane.
Top customer reviews
In "Lady, Go Die!", Mike and Velda, his secretary, assistant, and lover, head to the small town of Sidon, a Long Island beach town. Mike interrupts the savage beating of a hapless beach bum by two local detectives, one of whom, Dekkert, is a dirty cop having been kicked off the NY force. Before he knows it, Hammer's code of justice has him knee deep in a mystery involving the death of Sharron Wesley, a former wealthy socialite of dubious background, a high stakes illegal gambling establishment, small town corruption, angry cops, and elements of New York's mob who may or may not sympathize with Mike. Along the way, Mike shuttles bqack and forth to the City to meet with his buddy, Pat Chambers, as well as with many of his less than steller NY contacts.
As Mike peels back the layers of this mystery, he senses they are all related yet somehow they don't seem to fit the usual pattern--is there more than one "perp", are certain elements of the criminal activities unrelated red herrings? Readers familiar with the older writings of Mickey Spillane will smile at his tough guy dialogue and his take-no-guff attitude as his trigger temper begins to take its toll on the bad guys of Sidon. Only when Velda goes missing does Mike ratchet up his desperation enough to find the answers he demands, even if it means taking the town apart piece by piece.
This is the second collaboration I have read of Collins and Spillane, and I admire Max Allan Collins' devotion to maintaining the "voice", stylings, and texture of Mickey Spilane's iconic character--a character that surely begat most of today's justice seekers from Jack Reacher to Dave Roubidoux. Yes, the prose is simpler than we expect today and yes, it is filled with dated, even sexist remarks, yet that is the point of Collins' painstaking devotion to recreating the times and milieu of Mike Hammer. Having grown up reading Mickey Spillane and watching the Mike Hammer Movies and TV shows, I found this an enjoyable, fast, satisfying walk down memory lane.
Without disrespecting the Mick, I think Collins is a better writer and while being faithful to the characters and tone of his mentors work, he improves on it. I found this book to be more complex in terms of character and plot than the original Spillaine books and the other collaborations. Without giving away any spoilers, I'll say that Collins borrows some plot twists that we've all seen in contemporary crime movies/books that were not used back in the 50s. Most of Mickey's books concluded with the obvious femme fatale revelation common to films noir and books from the 40s thru the 60s. Not this one. I recommend this to anyone who likes a good read
Max Allan Collins unveils a previously unseen case for Mickey Spillane’s infamous private eye. It’s unclear exactly how much Collins contributed to Spillane’s original draft, but the result is in the tradition of dark and gritty film noir. Set in the post-WWII period following his debut in I, THE JURY, the Mike Hammer in this novel is in his prime. An anti-hero whose activities one can revel in, he’s the kind of character who doesn’t let rules and regulations obstruct the way to justice. It’s also enjoyable seeing Velda portrayed as an equal to Hammer in terms of deductive skill. Packing her own PI license and loaded gun, she is a fleshed out character in her own right. The romantic tension sizzles in this one. Women may come and go in Hammer’s life, but Velda is something special.
The remaining characters are varied, and the action is expanded to include the seedy underbelly of Manhattan, giving Hammer plenty of angles to figure. There’s a fair amount of misdirection thrown his way, and the killer turns up from a most unexpected corner.
LADY, GO DIE is a bracing read, buoyed by the charm of the central characters, the turns of the plot, and the changes in setting.
"Lady, Go Die" is the exception so far. It is probably the best of the Collins/Spillane Hammers. Velda resumes her proper place on the pedestal, the case is as hardboiled as ever, and it makes for an interesting sequel to "I, the Jury." ("Pulling the trigger (in the celebrated ending to "I, the Jury) had been easy. Living with it had been hard.")
The plot has been described at length in other reviews; no reason to recount it here. Suffice it to say that for the old time Hammer fan, this is probably a more satisfying read than the other post-Spillane books. Collins is finally on the right track.
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This book was started by Mickey Spillane and finished by Max Allan Collins with Mickey's permission.Read more