Friday, November 29, 2013

Heard: "Goliath Bone" by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins

Heard: Goliath Bone by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins, 2008, Overdrive download.

Read by Stacey Keach.  Keach does quite well as narrator.  Keach's voice sounds great and he has the skill to use that voice.

Mike Hammer referring to cell phones? To GPS?  To the AARP?  Yes.  He often refers to his and Velda's advanced age as well.  But, if this were totally realistic (in a Hammer novel?) Hammer would be what, 90-something?  I think he worked as a cop before he went into the service in WWII so he would have been at least 25 or so in 1945.  Maybe older because I'm thinking he was closer to 30 in I, the Jury which came out in 1947.

Anyway.  Mike is out late during a winter night when he senses trouble coming.  He sees a couple college kids leaving a restaurant and followed by a suspicious dude.  Hammer follows all three of them down into the subway.  The two kids come running back up the stairs followed by the dude carrying a pistol with a suppressor.  Mike shoots the gun out of the bad dude's hand and the bad guy falls down the stairs and busts his head open.  You know he busts his head open because this is a Hammer novel and you hear about the blood and brains spilling out.

The kids are carrying a heavy package.  Mike calls Captain Pat and then takes the kids back to Velda's apartment. The kids are reluctant to talk but tell their story.  They are the step-siblings of two famous scientists from NYU.  They were visiting their researching parents in Israel and took a trip into the Israeli desert.  When digging a firepit they uncovered a massive leg bone.  A human leg bone.  The leg bone of a 10' tall man.  The leg bone of a 10' tall man buried in the dirt of the Valley of Elah where David killed Goliath.  Oh, that could be neat.

Turns out everyone wants the bone.  Radical Jews to show a great victory.  Radical Muslims to recover a great hero.  Everyone else for fame and fortune and various politics.  Mike offers his bodyguard services.  The kids wealthy parents agree.  Mike takes over the case and faces off against Al Queda and radical Israelis.

Things happen.  Mike is a smart-ass.  Mike shoots more people (including spilling brains out).  Mike runs his contacts inside and outside of the police department.  Mike schemes and makes plans and tells no one.  Mike comes out ahead.  Mike and Velda finally marry. Mike and Velda honeymoon in Florida.  Mike and Velda survive another attack.  Mike and Velda return to NYC.  More action, more showdowns.  Mike retires from work with Pat taking over the PI business.  Mike lives happily ever after with Velda.

1.  Gee, Mike.  Do you carry a .45?  You tell us about it all the damn time.
2.  Spillane meant this as the chronologically last Hammer novel. Collins finished one partially set in the USSR, I want to read that one.
3. Many mentions of Velda's beauty even though she is much older now.
4.  Hammer handles heavy handed justice.
5.  Squib round leading to fisticuffs, a reach for Velda's .38, and more brain matter.
6.  Overcharge round exploding Mike's old .45.
7.  Mike is still famous in NYC after years of press coverage.
8.  Fun stuff.
9. EDIT:  I found a quote I wrote down, "Grabbing my jacket like I was at the wrong end of a dwarf tossing contest."  I laughed at that one.

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