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One Lonely Night Mass Market Paperback – Jan 1 1981

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (MM); Reissue edition (Jan. 1 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451165977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451165978
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 100 g
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 14 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Detective Novel Ever Written Nov. 28 2005
By TR wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio Cassette
I know that my title may be an exaggeration, but Mickey Spillane's first and last chapters of this book, contain some of the best American prose, word for word, outside of Hemmingway. The narrative picks you up and carries you along in a stream of muscular, swift, clearing written words. Mike Hammer is having doubts about whether he is a mindless killer who deserves to live or a normal man with a quick temper. By the end of the novel Mike Hammer has the answer.

BTW, the "MVD" that Spillane constantly refers to is the Soviet Secret Police, this organization has been called the "CHECKA", "NKVD", and "SMERSH". Or to put it more international terms, its the USSR equivilent of the GESTAPO.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nobody More Hardboiled Than Mike Nov. 13 2010
By Piano Johnny Jazz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
An odd beginning of sorts. Mike Hammer is out of sorts after being scolded by a judge who condemns him as a murderer (although unconvicted). A bit sensitive, Mike takes a lone walk which brings him to a lonely bridge where this story begins with an attempted murder, Mike killing the assassin and the intended victim, scared out of her wits, jumping off the bridge to her death. Mike covers up his own involvement and finds, in searching the man's pockets, a green card. (It turns out its a club card to a Commie (the book's word) organization meant on destroying America as we know it. (The year is 1951, the height of the "Red Scare")

It's all suspense and tough as nails action on the part of Mike after that. What's interesting is how much of the political talk, rants against the people in political office, is the same talk we hear today. Indeed, given the debate about politics today this book could be as relevent today as in 1951 in that regard.

Mike is also throughout the book considering the judge's words. Is he a murderer as evil as any other? I'm not giving any of the story away by saying that by the end of the book he determines he is...and that's OK for he has one difference, he kills only bad guys. Yes, he likes it, but there you go.

Tough as nails.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hammer Striking Back; Excellence In A Detective Novel Aug. 29 2014
By Dave Wilde - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"One Lonely Night" is the fourth Mike Hammer novel. If you have been reading these books in order, you might wonder if Hammer ever has a paying client since he has been involved in cases concerning a cop who was his best friend, a streetwalker he ran into in a hash house, and a friend from out of town who didn't wake up after a bullet lodged in his chest. This novel is no exception. Although Hammer eventually gets a client, he gets involved simply because he stumbled on murder and death.

The book opens with Spillane's patented spare prose that has Hammer walking on a lonely bridge after a judge tore into him for doing what organized law enforcement could not: putting an end to murderous scum. Hammer is quite introspective here, noting that the judge called him a murderer even though what should Hammer have done "when the bastard had a rod in his hand and it was pointing right at my gut."

Hammer sees a hysterical woman fall to pieces in front of him and a murderous thug on her heels. But, Hammer is a valiant white knight and "nobody has the right to scare the daylights out of any woman. Not like this." When the thug fingers a piece, Hammer lets him have it and the girl jumps off the bridge. One walk on a bridge = two bodies.

Hammer gets curious about the green cards the thug was carrying and is soon embroiled in infiltrating the Communist party and it's connections to Soviet secret service. This book was Hammer's first foray into something bigger than just a dirty murder to protect a gambling or call girl syndicate. Spillane does an excellent job of showcasing the secret meetings, secret identity cards, and the well-meaning Americans duped into believing that the Communist Party was the path to Eden, the Communist Party that at that time paid homage to Joseph Stalin, one of the most bloodthirsty tyrants in history.

This is without question first and foremost a detective novel and a truly top-notch detective novel at that. Spillane wrote better than most other authors could dream of.

It is also part and parcel of a tender love story between Hammer and Velda, although even now Hammer cannot resist temptation. "The eyes swept from her black pumps to legs and body and shoulders that were almost too good to be real." And, when someone messes with Velda: "A .45 can make an awful nasty sound in a quiet room when you pull the hammer back. It's just a tiny little click, but it can stop a dozen guys when they hear it. Weasel Face couldn't take his eyes off it. I let him have a good look and smashed it across his nose." No one else has ever written about this kind of explosion of violence, not written about it this well.

Of course, it wouldn't be a Hammer story without a dame, including one that kicks off the only thing she's wearing, her shoes, and sinks to the softness of the bearskin rug, "a beautiful naked creature of soft round flesh and lustrous hair that changed color with each leap of the vivid red flame behind her."

With this fourth Hammer book, Spillane somehow managed to continue the high quality work that epitomizes this series. Highly recommended.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark night of the soul. July 15 2003
By Robert S. Clay Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mickey Spillane's popularity in the 1950s was meteoric. This novel is a prime example of Spillane at his snarling best. The anti-Communist hysteria of post WWII America is the backdrop of this tale of lonely death and bloody vengeance. "One Lonely Night" is the archetype Mike Hammer story. All the classic elements are present, most particularly Velda, Hammer's delectable secretary. A young woman's dive off a New York bridge draws Hammer into mystery-adventure mayhem. A nest of Commie (the vernacular is everywhere) spies is hard at work on the streets of New York. Unrestrained by official red tape, and at loggerheads with the authorities, Hammer embarks on a typical one-man war against the Russian-based MVD (whatever that is). Spillane's prose is as rough as his fictional alter ego. What the writing lacks in literary style, it gains in attitude and action. Hammer's earthy first person narrative enhances the character. The underside of the big city comes alive. The body count is large. The sex is raw rather than erotic. The climactic scene in the warehouse, on the inevitable rainy night, is compelling. As Velda hangs naked by a rope from the ceiling, the guy with the scythe and the black cowl stalks at Hammer's side and the machine gun belches blue flame and thunder. The day of the guns prevails. Good reading for genre fans and those who enjoy Mickey Spillane's viewpoint. ;-)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Naked and the Dead, Hammer Style... Dec 29 2013
By M. Buzalka - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
One Lonely Night is a Political Correctness horror show. Start with protagonist Mike Hammer, author Mickey Spillane's series detective, who is a hard-drinking, chain-smoking (Lucky Strikes in all their unfiltered glory), gun-totting, womanizing force of male chauvinist nature (my favorite episode: Hammer's leather-belt-on-bare-ass chastisement of a young lady for perceived lapses in political judgement).

In my review of Spillane's first Hammer book, I the Jury, I marveled at the sheer over-the-topness of the narrative. Well, that was tame by comparison. The Hammer of I the Jury, as well as its first two sequels My Gun Is Quick and Vengeance Is Mine (see a pattern here?), was a somewhat restrained figure who at least focused his attentions on vicious low-lives. In One Lonely Night, attention shifts to politics where Hammer's vigilante approach to problem solving opens up a whole new set of philosophical problems about how a free society remains free while also dealing with enemies who use those freedoms to subvert them. Hammer's solution is to kill 'em all, legalities be damned, and the sooner the better. Well...

Penned at the height of the "Red Scare" of the early 1950s (it was published in early 1951 just as the Rosenberg trial was getting underway and Sen. Joe McCarthy's star was just beginning to ascend), One Lonely Night features a cavalcade of crudely stereotyped Communists for Hammer to deal with. At one point, the preternaturally evil Commies string Hammer's buxom secretary and pure-as-the-driven-snow love interest Velda up by her wrists—buck naked, of course—and proceed to torture her (for some reason, naked women and violence seem ever to converge in Hammer's life). Now I ask you, how would any sane man react to something like that?

No need to ask that here because Hammer is not a sane man by any accepted definition. In fact, judging from his first person narration, he is a psychopath pure and simple. As a reader I found myself fascinated by the mixture of self-pity and self-righteousness that is the Hammer id. This is amplified by Spillane's prose, which has really blossomed since the fairly crude stylings of the first three books. The picture of persecuted loneliness, accentuated by a setting of New York in bleak wintertime, is amazingly riveting. There are passages of real poetic beauty here.

Meanwhile, the plot as such is somewhat convoluted and winds up in an unholy mess of implausibility. No matter. As with most books in the hard boiled detective genre (Raymond Chandler, for example), plot is very secondary to character, style, atmosphere and dialogue. Yes, I would like something a little more believable but it's not a deal breaker

If you like hard boiled fiction at its rawest and are not overly bothered by a cavalier attitude to the rule of law or constitutional niceties, Spillane's Hammer books are a great read.