Someone in the wealthy Dunbar family has blood on their hands—and only hard-as-nails Mike Hammer has the skills to unmask them—in this page-turner for fans of gritty crime fiction
Taking a midnight stroll along the Hudson River, Mike Hammer gets more than he bargained for: a partial corpse on an ice floe. The body is that of a butler who spent the last years of his life working for a millionaire—also now deceased—and his notoriously privileged children.
Were both master and servant murdered? Captain Pat Chambers thinks so. But to prove it, Hammer must travel to upstate New York to investigate the dead man’s family, all of whom have a motive for murder—and one of whom who has a taste for it.
Collins's 10th posthumous novel-length collaboration with Spillane (after 2016's A Long Time Dead) successfully integrates PI Mike Hammer's stereotypical tough-guy narration into a whodunit plot set in 1965 New York. Hammer's knack for being in the wrong place at the right time again manifests when he discovers a corpse on a late-night walk along the Hudson River. The body, whose bottom half is missing, is eventually identified as belonging to Jamison Elder, the butler for the late Chester Dunbar, a former cop who became a millionaire and used his money and power to send crooked politicians to prison. Three years earlier, Dunbar died at his estate outside Monticello, N.Y., apparently from a heart attack after being unable to reach his nitroglycerin capsules in time. Dunbar's death was ruled accidental, but his friend and Hammer's, NYPD Capt. Pat Chambers, believes that both Dunbar and Elder were murdered, and hires the PI to investigate. The solution to the mystery isn't one of Collins's cleverest, but fans of the originals are likely to be satisfied.)