The Killing Man Hardcover – Feb 10 1992
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From Publishers Weekly
"I rammed my elbow back and felt teeth go under it and the back of my head mashed the guy's nose who was holding me." Mike Hammer is back, and after almost 20 years, he's as psychotically hard-boiled as ever. Here, there's a dead man in Hammer's office chair. He has been horribly tortured; a note on the desk reads "You die for killing me," signed "Penta." Hammer's longtime secretary and sometime love interest, Velda, has been knocked unconscious and Hammer (no mellower despite the years), goes a-hunting. Gorgeous assistant DA Candace Amory warns Hammer off the case; he changes her mind. Penta turns up on government files as an assassin for hire, a billion dollars in drug money is missing and renegade CIA agents and mobsters are looking for Penta, while gunning for Hammer. Spillane's ( Kiss Me, Deadly ) dirty rain, mean streets, leggy broads, etc. have made him one of the all time best-selling authors--but many things, including present-day New York city, have changed since the '50s and Spillane has, for the most part, failed to notice. Readers will catch the bad guy 50 pages before Hammer does. $100,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In case you haven't experienced Mickey Spillane firsthand, know that the numerous parodies of his style are not much exaggerated. The gritty exploits of gumshoe Mike Hammer teeter on the edge of high camp. However, Hayward Morse opts for a straight, irony-free performance. Although he's apparently British, his American accent is flawless. (Mike Hammer with a British accent would be camp indeed.) Mood, pacing and character voices are expertly handled. Hammer sounds a little young and clean-cut for one with such a long and colorful past, but that's a minor quibble against a thoroughly professional performance. If Spillane is your taste, this reading won't disappoint. J.N. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Mike walks into his office to discover his beloved secretary, Velda, unconscious, the brutal murder of ex-mobster Anthony DiCica at Mike's desk, and a note from the killer signed Penta.
Mike is in the middle and taking hits from the DA's office, the FBI, the CIA, and the mob, while being assumed to have been the intended victim when DiCica was murdered.
For none stop action with a satisfying conclusion from an author that delivers a good yarn nothing can be better than a Mickey Spillane.
Nash Black, author of SINS OF THE FATHERS and QUALIFYING LAPS.
Here's a quick example of what I mean: (The story is written in the fist person. Hammer is speaking.)
"I cocked the .45, took real deliberate aim and touched the trigger. The gun blasted into a roaring yellowish light and for that one second I saw the leg jerk and twitch with a grotesque motion, and even before he could scream, I did it again to the other leg...
The pain really hit him...He glanced down and was ripping at his clothes again and screamed, `You killed me!'
`Not yet,' I told him... Then he found the small-caliber pistol his hands had really been groping for and brought it up in a sweeping, deadly arc, one finger tightening around the trigger.
There was one smashing roar of the .45. His blood went all over the place. Fresh specks of crimson were on the back of my hand. I stood up slowly and gave him a hard grin he couldn't see any more.
I said, `Now I killed you.'
If you like Pulp Fiction, you'll like this one.
Gerard Bianco, author of the mystery novel, Dying For Deception ([...])
It opens with another dark, dreary day in Manhattan – somehow in Hammer books you always feel like there are dark clouds, foggy evenings, trenchcoats, and .45s. The most shocking scene of all occurs when Hammer walks into his office and sees Velda – “her body crumpled up against the wall, half her face a mass of clotted blood that seeped from under her hair.” Hammer, as always, is prepared for action, and when he thinks he sees someone in the inner office, he has to explode and ram “through the door in a blind fury ready to blow somebody into a death full of bloody, flying parts,” but stops “because it had already been done.” As shocking as it is to see Velda, secretary, fiancé, romantic entanglement, on the floor and being rushed to critical care, nothing typifies the hero that Spillane invented more than his exploding through a door ready to rip the evildoer limb from limb and make him suffer. This is not your typical private eye. This is not your down-on-his luck detective who is busy talking his way out of trouble. No, this is Hammer, the avenging angel who is out to smite with fire and brimstone anyone that does him wrong.
Spillane doesn’t spare the reader any of the gory details. Be forewarned. The narrative forcefully describes the “dozen knife slashes” that “had cut open the skin of his face and chest and [the fact that] his clothes were a sodden mass of congealed blood.” The six-inch steel spike positioned “squarely in the middle of the guy’s forehead” is almost an afterthought.
This return to the Hammer saga is just as terrific as any of the earlier Hammer novels from the gut-wrenching scenes with Velda hanging on in the hospital to Hammer’s sparring and foreplay with the blonde assistant district attorney with the “cover-girl face and a body that didn’t just happen.” “You would want to kiss the lusciousness of those full lips until the thought occurred that it might be like putting your tongue on a cold sled runner and never being able to get it off,” Hammer explains. Wow. Another writer would’ve just called her an ice princess and left it at that.
All in all, another fantastic piece of writing sure to entertain anyone looking for good, old-fashioned hardboiled fun.