Friday, March 27, 2015

Complex 90 by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins

Complex 90 is another of the Mike Hammer continuation novels by Collins based upon incomplete manuscripts given to him by Spillane. The books are fantastic. As a fan of Spillane’s Mike Hammer and Collins’ Nathan Heller character, I’m thrilled to see these books get published. Collins deserves a lion’s share of the credit for making this happen, and he is the perfect choice to continue the Mike Hammer series. Complex 90 is a direct sequel to The Girl Hunters, which was also filmed with Spillane himself playing Hammer. If you haven’t read that book or seen that film then stop what you’re doing now and seek them out. Then come back to this action-packed thriller. After barely surviving an epic and now legendary adventure in Russia, Hammer is stateside again and investigating the events that led him to be set-up as a target. What do the Russians really want from him? Is it vengeance for taking down so many commies in the early fifties, or is it something else? Long-time Hammer fans won’t be disappointed by the plot and characterization in this hardcore, tough-as-nails Mike Hammer story. Hammer’s secretary Velda is here and a few other luscious dames. And the bad guys are the usual duplicitous but ultimately doomed goons. No surprises in how things turn out, and that’s the way I want it. Collins writes awesome action scenes, and as I mentioned, his characterizations are spot-on and authentic. I would love to see Collins continue the Mike Hammer series with stories that are entirely his own. I think there may be only one or two more of these incomplete Spillane manuscripts left, and since Collins is so good at writing the stories I hope he can continue doing so. Complex 90 rates high on my list of favorite books this year. Kudos as well to Titan books for producing paperbacks with a retro cover style in the smaller pocket book format. Mike Hammer is one of the literary greats alongside Sherlock Holmes, Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe, and James Bond. May his smokin’ hot .45 Automatic blaze a path of justice for a long time to come.


  1. Thank you for this lovely review.

    If I go past the last three significant Hammer fragments, I still have a stack of Mickey's unfinished Hammer novels that I would convert into Hammer (all of Mickey's heroes were essentially Hammer!).


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