Oh my, this is not the same Mike Hammer I last read but given it was the first one of a 10 year hiatus for Mike Hammer, things obviously changed. Technology, Hammer's personal habits, his toughness has softened (a little) and he just seems not as 'noir' as the last book I read.
All in all though, a good story with a definate surprise at the end although I figured something was 'in the wind' when he took a backseat to the action.
Re-read Spillaine's bio and he was quite a character, knocking door to door as Jehovah's Witness in coastal South Carolina where he lived, playing parts in TV series, movies and ads. Not your usual writer who tended to be more reclusive especially during the earlier period (50's and 60's) of mystery writers. Looking at picture of him on the back cover, he certainly has the face of a character actor. Looks like a hard-boiled P.I.; I know, a cliche, but accurate.
Look forward to picking up the older more hard-core noir books which I enjoyed so much earlier this year. However, any day with a Mickey Spillane book is a good day for me.
Oops, should have mentioned the steamy scenes. There were some descriptions of beautiful, smooth looking, sexual 'dames' in the previous books, but these women were strong, drop dead gorgeous women who wanted ole Hammer and it was very mutual. Seems like almost exact opposite of the women in earlier books in that these were professionals who had strong personalities. No secretarys here so the book did indeed reflect the time period regarding women's role in the workplace.
Good book and if there were halfs I would give it 3 1/2 stars.