Monday, February 14, 2011

Kiss Her Goodbye -- Mickey Spillane & Max Allan Collins

Kiss Her Goodbye is Max Allan Collins' latest posthumous collaboration with Mickey Spillane, and it's terrific, maybe even better than The Big Bang, which I also liked a lot. In this one Mike Hammer returns to New York from Florida, where he's been recovering from a serious gun battle. He's not completely healed, but a his friend and mentor has committed suicide and, and Hammer feels he has to attend the funeral. It's the '70s, and Hammer thinks he's kissed New York goodbye forever. It's no longer the same place he once loved. Velda has moved on, and it's all over between them.

Although the suicide verdict is solid according to everyone from the top down, Hammer can't quite believe it. When people start being killed, he's sure something is wrong. Hammer being Hammer, he can't be stopped once he's on the track.

Plenty of familiar Hammer tropes, including an ending that is both familiar and yet different. Plus discos, crime families, Hammer's righteous wrath, and a climax that gives new meaning to the phrase "one-man army." It all adds up to a highly satisfying new outing for Hammer.

This is from the co-author's note: In the week prior to Mickey Spillane's death, he told his wife, Jane, "When I'm gone, there's going to be a treasure hunt around here. Take everything you find and give it to Max -- he'll know what to do." As usual, Spillane was right. He couldn't have made a better choice than Collins to work with his unfinished manuscripts, and Collins proves it again here. The book comes out in May. Go ahead and put your order in now.

1 comment:

Brian Drake said...

Well I can't wait to read this. The whole recovering in Florida/returning to NYC to solve friend's murder plot sounds like the beginning of BLACK ALLEY. I wonder if Spillane appropriated some of the KISS material for that book? Perhaps I'll ask Max.... :)