Hammer accompanies a conservative politician to Moscow on a fact-finding mission. Arrested and imprisoned by the KGB on a bogus charge; he quickly escapes, creating an international incident by getting into a fire fight with Russian agents.
On his stateside return, the government is none too happy with Hammer. Russia is insisting upon his return to stand charges, and various government agencies are following him. A question dogs our hero: why him? Why does Russia want him back, and why was he singled out to accompany the senator to Russia in the first place?
Set in 1964, Collins's seventh posthumous collaboration with iconic hard-boiled author Spillane (after 2012's Lady, Go Die!) boasts a ridiculously high body count. In chapter one, PI Mike Hammer, who's been working for American intelligence, admits before a U.S. government committee that he killed 45 Russians in the course of escaping from a Moscow prison and making his way to safety in Turkey. Three months earlier, he accompanied Senator Allen Jasper, a presidential contender in need of a bodyguard, to the Soviet Union, where the KGB arrested Hammer on a bogus charge. As in the Spillane originals, every woman who crosses the detective's path is both a stunner and eager to jump into bed with him. Hammer's brutal methods of solving problems translate to espionage as well as they do to street crimes, but this outing offers more of the same old same old rather than anything new or special.