Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Goliath Bone, by Mickey Spillane with Max Allan Collins

(hb; 2008)

From the inside flap:

"In the midst of a Manhattan snowstorm, [Mike] Hammer halts the violent robbery of a pair of college sweethearts who have stumbled onto a remarkable archeological find in the Valley of Elah: the perfectly preserved femur of what may have been the biblical giant Goliath. Hammer postpones his marriage to his faithful girl Friday, Velda, to fight a foe deadlier than the mobsters and KGB agents of his past -- Islamic terrorists and Israeli extremists bent upon recovering the relic for their own agendas.

"A week before his death, Mickey Spillane entrusted his nearly finished manuscript and extensive notes to his frequent collaborator, Road to Perdition author Max Allan Collins, to complete. The result marks the triumphant return of Spillane's beloved PI Mike Hammer after a twelve-year hiatus. . ."

Review:

The immediate pall of 9/11 hangs heavy over this latest -- last? -- Hammer offering from Spillane, infusing the plot with twenty-first century tensions. New York is still freaking out over the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the Twin Towers when Hammer rescues two college kids, who hold a package that will spark a jihad-flavored WWIII: once again, it's up to Hammer, with help from his longtime love, Velda Sterling, and his longtime cop friend, Pat Chambers, to prevent yet another Armageddon.

All the Hammer elements are in place: curvy dames; political and social corruption; snappy one-liners and blue-collar sentimentality, edged with tired, hard-guy threat; several political situations which seem likely to spiral into worldwide death scenarios; and a spectacularly brutal finish that recalls earlier Spillane novel finishes.

The Goliath Bone is a welcome, updated addition to the Hammer/Spillane ouevre.

Check it out.

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