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I’ve been reading those collaborations since Mr. Collins has been finishing them. Four Hammer novels to date, a couple of others, and a few short stories. Such as this one.

Set near the end of his career, Mike finds a pile of human remains and a hand by the side of the road returning from a conference in upstate New York. Pat Chambers was following behind in another car and stops to help.

Analysis shows the hand doesn’t go with the pile of meat: the hand, male, the body, female.

Even though it’s not a case, Mike is never one to leave something he starts unfinished. Naturally.

This compact story has it all. A young woman reporter who mentions an earlier case of fresh bodies being dug up at the cemetery, all women, said reporter and cameraman disappearing after setting up a meeting with Mike, and Mike delivering in his own inimitable style.

Collins does an excellent job of melding his style with Spillane’s in these collaborations. I have a fine time with every appearance of a new Spillane work. I’m unabashedly a fan and have been for most of my life. Never understood the criticisms of his work. What do I know? I’m just one of those who keep buying new works from the master. Have never been disappointed.

Spillane had it right. In this clip from a show he did with Dick Cavett, along with Evan Hunter, Robert B. Parker, and Sister Carol Anne O’Marie, writers all, he points out that it’s the fans that matter, not the critics:

Man, I would like to have seen that whole show.

Worth reading if you're a Spillane fan.

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