From Mickey Spillane, the hardest-boiled of detective writers, comes ... a sea story? Surprising but true, and a fun yarn it is. Mako Hooker is enjoying retirement from a life of lethal undercover work, fishing the days away on the remote Caribbean island of Peolle. But his idyll is shattered by the "eater"--an unknown presence in the deep water that bites the bottoms out of boats. As the attacks intensify, the outside world converges on Peolle: the media, a Hollywood film company, and some of Hooker's old colleagues from the Company, one of whom once put a bullet in him. As the intrigue thickens and the action gets nasty, Hooker reluctantly reactivates his old "kill or be killed" skills while trying to solve the riddle of the eater and kindling a romance with a beautiful heiress from a neighboring island.
Spillane published his first Mike Hammer novel in 1947, and though his pace has slowed, he has continued to publish into his 80s. Here, his touch here falters at times, with phrasing or pacing that seem off kilter. But the prose is often vigorous, the characters are well-drawn, the settings are vividly evoked, and the plot contains more angles than a geometry test--capped by an ingenious solution to the central mystery. Something's Down There is a pleasing concoction from a storied writer. --Nicholas H. Allison
From Publishers Weekly
Eighty-five-year-old Spillane (I, the Jury; Erection Set; Tomorrow I Die) shows little evidence of advanced age in this entertaining island adventure featuring ex-spook Mako Hooker and his Carib fishing partner, Billy Bright. Mako, retired on remote Peolle Island, devotes himself to drinking Miller Lite, fishing and boating, but he soon learns what aficionados of spy fiction already know well: you never really retire from the Company. Trouble arises on several fronts: a malevolent leviathan of unknown species begins slashing huge chunks out of the bottoms of fishing boats, and still-functioning WWII-era mines from sunken ships appear on the surface of the ocean, prompting the U.S. government to send in a team of agents and re-activate Hooker. Also in on the fun is ex-mobster Tony Pallatzo, now known as Anthony Pell, the head of a movie unit determined to capture the sea-dwelling monster on film, and lovely agent Chana, an old enemy against whom Hooker still holds a grudge: "for a second he wished he had been packing his .45 and the piece was in his hand with the hammer back so he could turn and shoot her guts right out of her beautiful belly and it would finally be all over with for all time." In Spillane's world, men still call women kiddo and baby and refer to each other as pals and buddies. True to his tough-guy heritage, Mako slays the dragon, finds himself a beautiful dame in the process and receives his just reward: "Muscles in her stomach rippled against his hands, saying quiet things that he could hardly believe." Classic Spillane.
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