Regular readers know that, every week, January Magazine features a crime fiction pick from Rap Sheet editor and January senior editor J. Kingston Pierce. Pierce’s Pick this week will be of interest to an even wider than usual audience as it highlights Kiss Her Goodbye by Max Allan Collins and the late Mickey Spillane.
The novel, lovingly completed by Collins and featuring Spillane’s best-known characters, will especially appeal to readers who loved Spillane’s inimitable voice.
Collins, an acclaimed and celebrated author in his own right, manages the very finest of homage: in Kiss Her Goodbye, you feel like you’re once again reading the work of an old friend, one you feared you wouldn’t encounter again.
“Working from an unfinished novel by the late Spillane,” Kirkus said, “Collins provides the franchise’s trademark winking salacity, self-congratulatory vigilantism and sadistic violence, topped off with a climax that combines the final scenes of two of Mike’s most celebrated cases.”
In his Pick, Pierce lets us know what’s going on. “Returning to Manhattan from Florida in the 1970s, P.I. Mike Hammer finds his world out of joint. His partner, Velda Sterling, has disappeared and his old police mentor has supposedly committed suicide. But Hammer, doubting the suicide explanation, opens up a case that leads to drug racketeers and a stock of Nazi diamonds.”
This is crime fiction from an era most of us would not want to go back to, but for a short visit? Bring it on!
It hardly seems possible, but today marks five years since The Rap Sheet was launched as a blog separate from its great mother ship, January Magazine. Little did I know then what would come of this project. I didn’t ever expect it to last as long as it has, or to gain the popularity it now enjoys. But I’ve been pleased by it all. And I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the many contributors who have added their voices to The Rap Sheet since 2006.
Congratulations to us and to The Rap Sheet! It’s been a fantastic journey for all of us.