Thursday, September 6, 2012

Skin by Max Allan Collins & Mickey Spillane

Private Investigator Mike Hammer may be getting older, but he hasn’t lost his step. So when he spots a brutally destroyed corpse on the side of the road in upstate New York, unrecognizable as human except for the disembodied hand lying next to it, there’s no question of him not taking the case. Especially when Melodie Anderson, the stunning young reporter determined to investigate, goes missing. But as Mike sifts through Melodie’s leads in a race to find her before it’s too late, he discovers a murder method more horrible than anything he’s ever come across… and one that neither he nor Melodie may be able to escape. (Summary provided by

This is a short story that has Mike Hammer in the middle of an investigation. He does a great job solving the case, as usual. Although I had some idea of how the book was going to end, it was great to read another Hammer story from the late Mickey Spillane. I’m glad that Max Allan Collins has come along to complete and finalize some of these great Mike Hammer stories.

I loved how Hammer deduces the clues before him. He knows how to look at everything around him and find out who the suspect is and apprehend him. I loved the suspense built up in the book even though it was a short story. The authors were able to write a suspenseful and well written story in just a few words. My only critique is that I would have loved to have a longer story because I love Hammer and his cases.

(Kindle Book; Provided by NetGalley; Read August 2012; Thank you to Penguin Group-USA for the opportunity to read and review this book.)

The Survivor by Gregg Hurwitz

Nate Overbay is a down on his luck guy who is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after his best friend was killed in combat. He is ready to end his life after finding out he has been diagnosed with another ailment. He will be leaving his wife and daughter behind but he has pulled away from them over the years after his return from service. He is on the 11th story edge of the bank building when he hears gun shots inside the back. He peeks into the window nearest him and see six armed men taking over the bank. Before he knows it, he has entered the window and starts taking out the bank robbers. There is one man left and he leaves Nate with a warning that his life could be in danger. Nate is confronted by a Ukrainian mobster and told that he must retrieve the item they were robbing the bank for or his wife and daughter will be in danger. Nate now has to focus on keeping his family safe and not focus on his lack of will to live before it is too late.

Hurwitz did not disappoint with his latest book. It started out with an action scene and never let up. I found myself knowing that things could not be so easy for Nate but I had no idea how Hurwitz would add more suspenseful twists without the story getting too unbelievable but he succeeded. Of course some of the situations seem unfathomable to the common person but it was not so over done that I rolled my eyes at absurdity.

There were moments in this book that I was on the edge of my seat and then there would be a paragraph that would have me on the edge of tears. Hurwitz had me on an emotional roller coaster throughout the book. I was rooting for Nate to repair his relationships with his wife and daughter, work through is new health diagnosis, figure out how to deal with his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and fight back against the group of Ukrainians coming after him.

I felt that the characters were well developed. There was enough detail to keep me informed and have a clear picture in my mind but there was not so much detail that I became bored while I was reading. I also liked that the intimate scenes were not too graphic. The interactions and responses from the characters seemed realistic to me and made me want to know even more about them when I finished the book.

Overall, this is another Hurwitz book that I would highly recommend. I find Hurwitz to be a refreshing author. He adds suspense but keeps things somewhat realistic throughout the book, so it keeps you hooked from the very start of the book. He is a creative author and I have not read any of his books that let me down. I look forward to more Hurwitz books in the future.

(Library Book; Read Sept 2012)