cover image Murder Never Knocks: A Mike Hammer Novel

Murder Never Knocks: A Mike Hammer Novel

Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins. Titan, $22.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-783291-34-2

In the gripping opening of Collins's ninth posthumous collaboration with Spillane (after 2015's Kill Me, Darling), a gun-wielding hit man confronts PI Mike Hammer in his Manhattan office. Fortunately, the gunman makes the typical bad guy mistake of talking long enough to give his quarry a chance. Subsequent assailants are no more successful in their attempts to take out Mike, who's baffled by the motive for the contract on his life. With money a concern, Mike puts that puzzle aside when he accepts a job to safeguard jewels at a bridal shower. Some of the prose is heavy-handed ("A cold front was sticking its tongue out at New York, tasting the edges of it, and%E2%80%94not liking what it found%E2%80%94spitting it back in a short, chilly blast") and Park Avenue appears to be just across the street from Central Park, but fans of the originals won't mind. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency. (Mar.)