Mike Hammer almost kicks the bucket
...and he drives around a lot with a seeping gut wound, visits old friends, gets put in a coma, gets a marriage license and looks for $89 billion. Sounds like a lot of action, doesn't it? In reality, there's not too much going on here.
The series is not aging well. I find myself running the math figures on this 1997 book and most of Hammer's friends and contacts are in their 70s, 80s and 90s. One former Prohibition cop that he uses as an informant would be at least 93 years old - that is if he served as a division chief in the fight against booze brought in to get around the Prohibition laws at the tender age of 18! I conservatively estimated his age to be at least 103 - how many 103-year-olds are sources of current mafia information?
Also, has Spillane ever actually seen a backhoe? It is a heavy duty piece of construction equipment. Even the small ones are extremely heavy and must be towed with special trailers. He has Hammer towing one behind his car on a mountain on a regular trailer with no brakes - that must be a heckuva car!
Anyway, problems like this drug the book down for me.
I listened to Black Alley as an abridged audiobook read by, of course, Stacy Keach (who else?!), who played Mike Hammer on the TV series. Keach did a decent job despite being hampered by a poor story.
I rate this abridged audiobook 2 stars out of 5.
Reviewed on February 27, 2006.
Also mentioned in this review:
"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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