The Last Stand

Mickey Spillane. Hard Case Crime, $22.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-78565-686-6
At the start of this final novel by MWA Grand Master Spillane (1918–2006), prepared for publication by Spillane expert Max Allan Collins, pilot Joe Gillian makes a forced landing in his vintage plane somewhere in “John Wayne country.” Joe soon encounters Sequoia Pete, a Native American whose horse has tossed and deserted him. They join forces to trek the grueling 50 miles across the desert back to the rez, noshing on a rattlesnake along the way. When Joe happens upon an arrowhead made of an unknown substance, Pete identifies it as an ancient rarity. This find looms large as the plot expands to include FBI agents and ruthless gangsters. Once on the rez, they’re greeted by Pete’s beauteous sister, Running Fox. A lengthy build-up to the book’s action set piece—a mano-a-mano battle between Joe and Big Arms, an enormous brute who intends to obliterate him because he’s wooing Running Fox—has a satisfying payoff with a rather touching aftermath. More adventure yarn than mystery, this is a worthy coda to Spillane’s remarkable career in his centennial year. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/15/2018
Release date: 03/20/2018
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-78565-699-6
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