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Black Alley (Mike Hammer #13)

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  181 ratings  ·  20 reviews
The grandmaster of crime fiction returns with a Mike Hammer thriller--and America's best known P.I. is literally a new man! A retired Hammer wakes from a near-death coma to find that he is at the center of a search for $89 billion in missing mob money. The mob suspects--rightly--that Hammer's friend has left a clue to the money's whereabouts. And to complicate matters, the ...more
Hardcover, 234 pages
Published November 1st 1996 by Dutton Books (first published January 1st 1996)
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This is book 13 of the Mike Hammer series & the last one that Spillane did before he died, I believe. (Max Allan Collins has finished up a few more from Spillane's notes.) Unfortunately, it sucked. Mind you, I don't expect a lot out of Mike Hammer novels. They're ego-fests, first person shoot 'em ups with everyone realizing just how tough, smart, & wonderful Mike Hammer is. That's a pretty big anchor for any story to wear, but Spillane's brutal verbiage & a huge suspension of belief ...more
Olean Public Library
Mickey Spillane remains a revered crime writer and never fails to entertain. His characters P.I. Mike Hammer and Veda, Mike’s secretary find themselves in deep trouble. Pitted against a powerful mafia family and also a missing $89 billion in cash to find they are engaged in many adventures. Spillane holds his own with many modern mystery writers. Worth rereading!
Tough guy detective Mike Hammer is back from the grave, almost literally, for one last adventure. It begins with getting shot to pieces and left for dead at what was supposed to be a hit on the last of the big-time Mafia dons, arranged by one of the don's sons. After Hammer put a bullet in the face of the Kid-Who-Would-Be-Don, but before he enters what Hammer calls the "black alley," he is bundled into the back of a car by a once-alcoholic doctor who lost his license and is nursed back to a frag ...more
Carl Brookins
It started with “I The Jury,” back in 1947 and continued for more than a dozen novels through the 1950’s. They were fast, hard-hitting and gritty. In the mystery field they made Mike Hammer a detective icon, much like Philip Marlowe of an earlier time. Hammer was, and is, a big, tough, take-no-prisoners P.I. He made the .45 cal automatic a cliché of the genre.

Hammer talked tough and acted tough and when he solved his cases, after bedding at least one of the principal women in the story, they sta
I picked up this Spillane title at random, through the luck of the draw—i.e., what was on the library shelves—just to get a taste for the work. Just because Spillane was admired by Ayn Rand doesn't mean he's should be overlooked. But it turns out that there are better practitioners of gritty crime fiction from mid-century: Spillane can't match up to Thompson, Chandler, John D. MacDonald, Richard Price.

Black Alley is a late work, at a time of life for Spillane's hero Mike Hammer that he's ready t
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
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Jeff Dickison
Just an okay Mike Hammer entry. In this one he nearly dies from a gunshot wound, finds 89 billion dollars worth of mafia money, and asks Velda (the shapely secretary) to marry him. Not to be taken seriously, recommended only to Hammer fans. Does anyone out there remember Frank Lovejoy playing Mike Hammer in the fifties television show?
The plot is predictable; the characters are transparent; and the final solution lacks the shocking explosion of the other Hammer novels. This, the last entry in the Hammer series, fails to rise to the level of the earlier books in any ways. It is clumsily updated from the 50's feeling the first books had and now Mike Hammer, the toughest detective ever drinks Miller Lite, uses Sweet-N-Low, takes frequent naps and, perhaps, worst, plans to marry Velda (who must now be about 75 years old). Even th ...more
David Macpherson
Why do I do this to myself? Why do I pick the last book in a long running series for my first look at the series? This was my first Mike Hammer book. It might be my last. Wow, lousy plotting. Dull plot about the mob hiding eighty seven billion dollars somewhere in upstate new york. And then there is Mike Hammer, brave fellow. Dull. I am sure people love these books for a reason, but I didn't see it in this thing.
Ed Teja
A typical Mike Hammer novel. Nicely paced and a convoluted story.
David Reynolds
First Mickey Spillane I've read. Thanks Marsha!!
I really didn't like the book. Mike Hammer was annoying; "I-know-it-all" -type a guy. The basic idea of the story was good, but it was badly written. This surely was my first and last Spillane -book I read. All I can say, that the book was so bad, that I can't even write a decent review of it...
I listened to this as an audio book. I like the Mike Hammer series, and this was set in the new millenium, in New York. Not like the old LA hard nosed detectives of the early 20th century. Still it was well written, I liked the plot.
A great example of noir. It was a quick read. Very fast paced. Straight to the point. I loved it. Can't wait to read more by him
Started off thinking I had read this one, but turned out I had read the short story it was written from in Playboy.
This is a horrible book, very poorly written. Things happen out of sequence. I hated it.
Great read,, made me want to delve deeper into Spillane's library.
Gary Vassallo
Gary Vassallo marked it as to-read
Jan 20, 2015
Frances Kelly
Frances Kelly marked it as to-read
Jan 17, 2015
Dryad added it
Dec 09, 2014
Shawn Granger
Shawn Granger marked it as to-read
Nov 06, 2014
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Mickey Spillane was one of the world's most popular mystery writers. His specialty was tight-fisted, sadistic revenge stories, often featuring his alcoholic gumshoe Mike Hammer and a cast of evildoers who launder money or spout the Communist Party line.

His writing style was characterized by short words, lightning transitions, gruff sex and violent endings. It was once tallied that he offed 58 peop
More about Mickey Spillane...

Other Books in the Series

Mike Hammer (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • I, the Jury
  • My Gun Is Quick
  • Vengeance Is Mine
  • One Lonely Night
  • The Big Kill
  • Kiss Me, Deadly
  • The Girl Hunters
  • The Snake
  • The Twisted Thing
  • The Body Lovers
I, the Jury The Mike Hammer Collection: Volume I Kiss Me, Deadly My Gun Is Quick Vengeance Is Mine

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