The author of I, The Jury presents his first novel in seven years, featuring his famous creation, Mike Hammer, who challenges the Mafia's most powerful family in revenge for the gunning down of an old army pal. Reprint. PW. NYT. "
Mike awakes from a coma to find he is recovering from a life-threatening wound. In a crazy and improbable tale, a surgeon turned drunk has picked him up and saved his life. The book's title refers to the temptation to take the black alley towards death. His recovery is cut short when an old army pal calls him back to his death bed, where Mike learns about a missing $89 billion that his friend has hidden. The search for the money is complicated by Mike's finally proposing to Velda, and her accepting.
To me, the whole injury recovery, the missing $89 billion, and the way Mike lives are all very dissatisfying.
What I loved about the book was the way that Mike keeps to his idealism when it comes to his love for Velda. No modern monkeyshines for him! That aspect of the book was the only one that rang true for me.
If you love Mike Hammer, you may want to skip this book. You won't feel the same about the character or the series if you read this book. If you have never read Mike Hammer, this book may seem a little less bad to you.
If you do decide to read the book, I suggest that you think about where you can uphold your standards in ways that will make your life and the lives of those around you better.
Be yourself . . . in a helpful way!
The story starts with him gut shot and for the rest of the book, he hobbles around. Where the Mike of old would have performed surgery on himself, reloaded the bullet and shot someone with it, this Hammer keeps going to the doctor and complaining. He gets engaged to Velda, she's more than willing, and he does nothing about it. Enough said? Like Agatha Christie, Alistair MacLean and others, age seems to have sapped Spillane's talents. My advice is to skip this book, find some vintage Spillane and enjoy the ride.