Review

Dead Street

by Mickey Spillane

The
wire-revolving displays of paperbacks that were present in drug
stores in the 1950s and 1960s inevitably had a new or reprinted
edition of a Mickey Spillane novel. The covers, just like this
posthumous release of the previously unpublished DEAD STREET, were
designed to appeal to any heterosexual male on the cusp of
adolescence and beyond. The covers matched the contents:
Spillane’s writing was sexual, violent and graphic (what more
could one ask for?). I can remember being subjected to a Sunday
morning sermon in which Spillane was denounced, by name, from the
pulpit. I was shamed but kept on sinning.


Spillane passed away in 2006 but left a number of manuscripts in
various states of completion --- or, if you will, undress. Hard
Case Crime, with the very able assistance of Max Allan Collins, has
published the first of these, DEAD STREET, a wonderful visit from
an old friend whom we thought we would never see again.


This is the story of Jack Stang, a retired NYPD cop whose
nickname “The Shooter” survives his police career.
Stang is in a lock-step, uneasy march through retirement, yearning
for the old days while quietly pining for Bettie, the only love of
his lonely life, who had been killed in an abduction some 20 years
previously. His somewhat lethargic existence is jump-started by the
sudden revelation that Bettie is alive ---sightless and without
memory --- and the beneficiary of a de facto witness protection
program. Stang is given one more chance to protect her and win her
love once again. Bettie’s enemies, whose actions against her
almost resulted in her death two decades ago, are after her again;
this time they will stop at nothing to find out what she knows and
finish the job of eliminating her. Stang, however, is not about to
let that happen. He does not care who he has to kill or how often
he has to do it to see that justice is done and that the one he
loves is given a new lease on life. 


DEAD STREET doesn’t contain a particularly strong plot, but
Spillane’s trademark action scenes are there, and --- dare I
say it? --- he still kicks rear end, even from the grave, better
than anyone else. Spillane was credited with (and accused of,
depending on one’s point of view) saving the paperback book
industry in the 1950s. This novel is a fine homage to the man, by
The Man.


   







Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on December 29, 2010

Dead Street
by Mickey Spillane

  • Publication Date: October 30, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Mass Market Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Hard Case Crime
  • ISBN-10: 0843957778
  • ISBN-13: 9780843957778