Saturday, July 28, 2012

Skin: A Mike Hammer Story

   When I reviewed the Mike Hammer novel Kiss Her Goodbye, I mentioned that I couldn't tell where Mickey Spillane's material stopped and where his collaborator Max Allan Collins' work began. That's true of Skin: A Mike Hammer Story as well. Collins has the Hammer voice down. Oh there are places where I thought, "That's probably Collins" but really it doesn't matter because no matter who did what, this is a great Mike Hammer story.
   What's extra cool about it is that it's a contemporary tale with digital cameras, cell phones, and DNA evidence, and Hammer, far from being out of touch with the times, wades right in.
   Like most Hammer tales this one gets off to a fast start when Mike, driving home from a police function, spots the grisly remains of a human body on the side of the road. The only thing vaguely recognizable is a surprisingly intact hand. The rest of the corpse is hamburger. Mike's pal Police Captain Pat Chambers, who was following in another car, joins Mike at the crime scene. The local cops show up and it looks like Hammer's part in things is over. If you don't know Mike Hammer that is.
   Mike gets involved and it's much like the old days. There are a couple of swell looking dolls, three if you count the older but still smouldering Velda, and Mike goes hunting with his faithful .45. Mike may be getting on in years but he hasn't mellowed. When he catches up with the killer in a scene that would make Robert Bloch proud, it is again, Hammer Time, and the story goes out with just the sort of Bang that Spillane was famous for.  Anyway, I highly recommend this one, available for the Kindle and well worth your time.

No comments: