Mike Hammer, the iconic PI created by hard-boiled crime master Mickey Spillane and written by New York Times bestseller Max Allan Collins, returns in Masquerade for Murder.
After Mike Hammer witnesses Wall Street superstar Vincent Colby getting clipped by a speeding red Ferrari, the shaken victim's stockbroker father hires Hammer to find the driver. But the toughest private eye of them all soon is caught up in a series of bizarre, seemingly unconnected slayings marked by a forbidden martial arts technique.
What do a lovely redhead, a short-tempered bartender, an exotic call girl, a murdered police inspector and a movie stuntman have to do with a scheme that might have transformed young Colby into a psychological time bomb?
Set in 1989, MWA GrandMaster Collins's competent 12th posthumous collaboration with Spillane (after 2019's Murder, My Love) finds Mike Hammer still operating as a PI when the WWII vet would have been in his late 60s. That touch of realism allows Collins to dial back most of the extreme elements of the early Spillane novels. Outside a Manhattan restaurant, Mike spots Wall Street wunderkind Vincent Colby as he steps into the street and is clipped by a speeding red sports car. He's only bruised, but is taken to the hospital, and his wealthy dad, Vance, hires Mike to unearth the perpetrator over Vincent's fierce objections. Mike's investigation, aided as always by his voluptuous secretary, Velda, soon leads to a trail of bodies, linked only by the bizarre method by which they were dispatched. Spillane fans will be pleased to see how well Collins captures the brash tone but everyman personality of the latter-day Hammer without trying to imitate the character's infamous vigilante crusades of earlier years. Spillane (1918 2006) would be proud of how well Collins has maintained his legacy. \n