Not Just Another Grouchy Grammarian

Musings about language, books, grammar, and writing in general

What a Way to Meet Someone.. .

I do note that I received the book as an ARC, but all opinions of it are mine and are in no way influenced by its receipt.

Today’s mail brought me the ARC of the newest – yet oldest – book in the Mike Hammer series: Killing Town, by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins (Titan Books). This is the very first appearance of Mike Hammer – yes, before even I, the Jury. It is being released as part of the celebration of the 100th year since Spillane’s birth. It follows the release of The Last Stand/A Bullet for Satifaction by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins (Hard Case Crime), two non-Hammer stories in one volume.

Spillane could not have chosen a better literary executor than Max Allan Collins. When Collins finishes a Spillane manuscript, it’s virtually impossible to tell where Spillane left off writing and where Collins began it. This book is no exception.

In Killing Town Mike Hammer slips into the small town of Killington to fulfill the last request of an old Army buddy of his who had liberated $30,000 from an operation run by the New York “Mob.” Before he can do so, however, he is arrested and framed for the rape and murder of a young woman he had observed while traveling to Killington.

It has all the hallmarks of Hammer to come: it’s gritty, there’s violence, there are beautiful women and plot twists within complications within plot twists. The writing is taut, the dialogue is the kind of snappy, period talk we expect in the best early noir novels. Overall, it was a highly satisfying way to spend an evening.

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