Saturday, November 30, 2013

Review: LADY, GO DIE by Mickey Spillane & Max Allan Collins

Mike Hammer - Lady, Go Die!The long lost follow-up to the iconic I, THE JURY – LADY, GO DIE sees Mike Hammer and assistant Velda (who also doubles as a PI) take a vacation for some much needed R&R. What they get, however, is a face full of police brutality, a missing and presumed dead woman about town, and an inept police force prone to corruption and murder.

Hammer, never one to shy away from a fair fight, takes it upon himself investigate the police angle behind an untoward beat-down which exposes a deeper plot involving town officials, illegal gambling and unnecessary strongarm tactics. In the pursuit of the true, Hammer will do whatever it takes to see justice and revenge is served cold.

It took me a little while to get into LADY, GO DIE – much like many Mike Hammer novels, the hard man PI stumbles upon a case and then proceeds to put himself in harm’s way to solve it with little or no motive - apart from his deep seeded desire to protect the innocent. In this, he’s more likened to a cop than rogue PI but somehow author Max Allan Collins pulls it off to make it feel natural and in-line with Spillane's version of the character.
The plot is murder mystery, however, there’s much more to this circa 1940’s crime tale, including a couple of nice twists and turns I didn’t see coming and some character building to add more menace to the Hammer persona.

LADY, GO DIE isn’t the greatest of the many Mike Hammer novels but it's well worth a look. A quick, fun read that transports the reader back to I, THE JURY territory.
My review of I, THE JURY can be read here [GR]:

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