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This is Max Allan Collins’ fourth co-authored Mike Hammer novel, completed from a partial manuscript and notes. After his death, Spillane’s wife, on instructions from Mickey before he’d passed, turned over all of his papers to Collins.

LADY, GO DIE! was a novel begun after his famous novel, I, THE JURY, our introduction to Hammer and abandoned for some reason.

Collins kept the setting right after WWII and it’s a direct sequel to that first one.

Hammer and Velda are on a bit of a vacation in the small town of Sidon on Long Island. Ever since that ending of I, THE JURY, he’d been on a bender and after a year Velda and his friend Pat Chambers convince him to take some time off.

But this is Mike Hammer. Trouble follows him around and it doesn’t take long.

He breaks up three men kicking the crap out of a skinny little guy in an alley. They are cops and one he knows, kicked off the New York force for the crook he was. They want information on a missing woman.

The woman, Sharron Wesley, had gone missing from her mansion a week before. Then her nude body turns up perched naked on a stone statue of a horse in the park. Dead a week, she’d been strangled and tossed in the ocean and then perched on the statue. Was it the same killer?

Hammer gets drawn into the investigation and learns more is going on than seemed obvious.

Loved this one. Collins has managed to marry his own style with Spillane’s and make a seamless novel that kept me turning the pages. I started it in the morning and finished in the evening.

Recommended and available here.

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