Kiss Her Goodbye
A Mickey Spillane Mystery by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins
Review: PI Mike Hammer returns to New York City from a stint in Florida to attend the funeral of an old friend, only to be drawn into an investigation into the exact reason for his death, in Kiss Her Goodbye, the 15th mystery in this series by Mickey Spillane (and the third to be completed from the author's outline by Max Allan Collins following Spillane's death).
NYPD homicide detective Bill Doolan committed suicide, but Hammer doesn't believe it. He knew Doolan far too well to accept that his friend would have cashed in his own chips that way. But his network in New York is no more; his trusted secretary and former girlfriend — he left her for her own safety — Velda is no where to be found. Still, his PI license is valid and he still has a permit to carry, so with the tacit approval of Police Captain Pat Chambers, Hammer sets out to prove that Doolan was murdered.
Hammer suspects the involvement of the Mafia, but this is so not their style. A simple bullet to the head would have sufficed, but Doolan's death was apparently meticulously planned and (pardon the pun) executed, with no clues to indicate anything but a suicide. Doolan's long service in the department resulted in a large number of friends and enemies — and sometimes it's hard to tell the difference — but Hammer is certain one of them killed him.
What a delight to be transported once again into Mike Hammer's NYC environs. Though set in the 70s — Hammer being a little older and maybe a little wiser — readers who relished Spillane's novels from the 50s and 60s will be thrilled that Collins has captured the characteristic descriptive manner and narrative style of the original books in Kiss Her Goodbye. The plot is well developed, but often seems of secondary importance to character, setting, and action. Not that that matters much, as this latest case is simply vintage Hammer, one to be appreciated and enjoyed. Here's hoping Spillane left behind more than a few outlines for future Hammer adventures.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Kiss Her Goodbye.
Acknowledgment: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt provided an ARC of Kiss Her Goodbye for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Kiss Her Goodbye: New York City
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Kiss Her Goodbye by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins — A Mickey Spillane Mystery
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: May 2011
List Price: $25.00