Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
Nothing boosts some writers' productivity so much as their deaths. Best-selling author (I, the Jury; Kiss Me Deadly) and star of a famous series of Miller Lite commercials, Spillane died in July 2006, but no fewer than four new books he was working on at that time are scheduled to appear. This paperback standalone crime novel with a suitably lurid cover deals with Jack Stang, a retired New York detective, who discovers that Bettie, his beloved fiancee of 20 years ago, didn't really die then but had lost her memory, gone blind, and is currently living in a Florida retirement community. Trying to help the still-ravishing Bettie regain her memory leads Stang into unraveling a skein of dirty tricks long thought dead and buried that involves everything from nuclear fission to computer conglomerates and terrorists. Reading this is a bit like attending a meeting of the Policemen's Benevolent Association-full of piss and vinegar, but those old guys (even with one foot, or possibly both, in the grave) can still tell a good story. The many Spillane fans out there have a lot to look forward to. For all larger public libraries.-Bob Lunn, Kansas City P.L., MO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
One of a handful of novels he was working on at the time of his death, this fine, perhaps final, work from hard-boiled fiction icon Spillane (1918-2006) was prepared for publication by Hard Case vet Max Allan Collins. In it, NYPD detective Jack Stang receives word that his old fiancee, Bettie, who supposedly died in a kidnapping-gone-wrong 20 years earlier, is still alive and residing in a small Florida coastal community. The good news is countered by the fact that, in the car crash that was supposed to have killed her, she lost her eyesight and all her memories. Even worse, the men who had her kidnapped in the first place have perfectly good memories and are still looking for her-and willing to kill for the information locked in her damaged brain. This is a more sentimental Spillane than readers might expect, but the women are still "dolls," the bad guys are still louses, and the hero still packs a helluva punch (along with his trusty .45, natch). Spillane always said he wrote for his fans, not for the critics, but both should be pleased with this late addition to the writer's canon. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
One of three unfinished novels Spillane had going when he died last year (the others are Mike Hammer yarns), this modestly entertaining crime novel follows recently retired NYPD captain Jack Stang aka The Shooter as he cracks the biggest unsolved case from his days on the force. It involved the abduction and death of his computer-expert girlfriend only Bettie didn't die. Instead, she was fished from the river by a veterinarian who protected her for 20 years from mobsters who wanted information she possessed. Struck blind during the kidnap, she also suffers from amnesia. The veterinarian's son tells Stang she's been set up in a Florida retirement community for cops and the house next door is in the captain's name. With the block that formed the core of Stang's beat being redeveloped, it seems like a good time to leave. In contrast to the convoluted story line, which includes a terrorist plot and nefarious ice cream dealers, Stang's methods are as straightforward as his nickname. Woe betide any bad guys who enter his sights. Max Allen Collins finishes the last three chapters with nary a skipped narrative beat.--Sennett, Frank Copyright 2007 Booklist