Dead Street, published by Hard Case Crime, brought near completion by Spillane, and finished by Max Allan Collins based on Spillane's notes, is Spillane's final crime novel.
It's a non-Mike Hammer book set in our time (People think of Spillane as a 1950s author, but he wrote almost to the end of his life, in 2006). Despite the contemporary setting, Spillane and his retired cop protagonist yearn for their Hammeresque past as hard as the book's central figure yearns to recapture the memory she had lost in a car crash twenty years before.
Thus the protagonist, Jack Stang, as he hears the unlikely tale of the woman's survival:
"My hand was on the .45 now. My thumb flipped off the leather snap fastener and eased the hammer back. If this was a pathetic jokester he was about to die at this last punch line."Stang finds a pipe, "the sort rich little slobs liked to tote around to puff on weed or hash." There's even a reference to "what used to be called un-American activities." Coming from Spillane, that sounds positively nostalgic.
|Cape May Welcome Center|
"`I hear fancy apartments are going in.'
"`Yeah. And guess who's behind it?'
"Another stupid little surprise, I supposed. `Tell me.'
"`A Saudi investment group.'
"`Only seems fair.'
"`They took down two buildings, didn't they? Ought to put up a few.'"© Peter Rozovsky 2011