The Killing Man

Mickey Spillane, Author Dutton Books $17.95 (228p) ISBN 978-0-525-24827-9
``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. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
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