Mickey Spillane writes like Dashiell Hammett, his character Mike Hammer is like Hammett's Sam Spade, and the gloom and doom of their P.I.'s cases are similar. But, in some uncommon and difficult-to-explain way, the books of each are decidedly different.
First, the issues of "One Lonely Night" involve more than greed - the impetus for murder and mayhem in Hammett's "The Maltese Falcon." This book involves stolen documents containing "information of destruction." Papers of mass destruction. Microfiche.
And, this book involves speeches, news alerts and fears about the Commies. The political hero tells the, ". . . nation of the calamity that had befallen it." Americans were warned ". . . with a special bulletin that told of all ports being watched, the roundup of suspected aliens . . . The world was in an uproar when the stuff was safe as hell . . . " Written in 1951, it may seem dated, but recent events are making it retro.
The fear mongers in this fictional account mirror those that administer our union today. Each has an agenda, each has a cause for its igniting a match to fear's kindling. But, in order to prevent ruining this novel - I tell you that the underlying reasons for the fear mongers of this book are hopefully different than those reasons of our political leaders. Oh, how I hope it is so.
Hammer is cool. He gets in on with women, he smokes Lucky Strikes, he measures his drinking by the bottle - not the glass, and he kills a lot of people. And, each of those people deserve death. Torturous death. Slow, painful, excruciatingly slow and painful death. But, for the most part they are blown away by his 45.
Like Hammett and others of this genre, the similes and hyperbole are wonderfully unique and blue collar. Occasionally, metaphors further color the writing which made Spillane rich and famous - probably two attributes he was not concerned to obtain, but felt no inhibition in accepting the former as it would increase his ability to womanize like his Hammer.
This book is good fun.