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Kill Me If You Can


Kill Me If You Can

If tough guy Mike Hammer ever needed to be at the top of his game, now is the time. But he can’t seem to pull himself out of the bottle long enough to think straight. A giant serving of guilt is weighing on him. He’s kicking himself for not handling the shindig that Velda, his secretary-turned-partner-turned lover, covered for the agency. The one she disappeared from. It sounded like an easy gig, a job even a novice PI could handle, but something went wrong. Big time wrong. All clues about whodunnit point to a new group of home tossers in town.

"Max Allan Collins writes with a style that perfectly mimics Mickey Spillane.... Curl up and enjoy Mike Hammer at his best --- and, of course, worst."

At first, Hammer goes after the usual suspects, but it doesn’t take long to realize that the New York crime families want these guys almost as much as he does. Packy Paragon, Hammer’s mob friend --- ex-mob friend these days --- dials him in on what the word on the street currently is. So Hammer, armed with the address of the next supposed target and his .45, stakes it out. He hopes to kill two birds with one stone: catch the burglars and, more importantly, find Velda. Of course, it’s not as simple as that, especially if you consider the brain fog that has him woozy from the booze.

Then Packy’s place is hit, and the stakes soar even higher. It’s not just Velda now, although Hammer’s focus has always been on her. But Packy held a special, if not exactly fond, spot in his life. He owes it to Packy to put things right. And he owes it to Packy’s wife, Victoria Valance. She, too, deserves his help. Plus, there’s no overlooking that Victoria is a beautiful bird. He takes her under his wing, so to speak, telling himself he’s protecting her. With Hammer, it’s always complicated.

The cops think the robbers got away with a hundred G’s, but Hammer knows the real score was a ledger, a ledger that names names. And not just names of mob guys, but also politicians, cops, officials and influencers of every ilk, plus some extra special delectables about each of them. It’s a book that ups the ante. And ups the danger factor. A lot of people would kill to get their hands on it --- literally --- so it comes as no surprise when Hammer runs into someone who bashes him on the head, grabs him and tries to work him over. But, again, it’s not as simple as that.

Hammer is no stranger to violence. In fact, he thrives on it, drunk or sober. And he always goes out prepared. Still, by the wrap-up, he has acquired numerous new bruises and myriad scars as fodder for future stories, if he cares to tell them.

Max Allan Collins writes with a style that perfectly mimics Mickey Spillane. Readers will travel back in time to the middle of last century with KILL ME IF YOU CAN. Curl up and enjoy Mike Hammer at his best --- and, of course, worst. Climb out of that bottle, Mike! Velda needs you.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on October 7, 2022

Kill Me If You Can
by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins

  • Publication Date: September 20, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Hard-boiled Mystery, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books
  • ISBN-10: 1789097649
  • ISBN-13: 9781789097641