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Black Alley [Mass Market Paperback]

Mickey Spillane
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton / Signet (25 Sep 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451191021
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451191021
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 605,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

Tough P.I. Mike Hammer emerges from a near-death coma to learn that he is embroiled in a deadly search for billions of dollars of missing mob money. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've read and enjoyed Spillane for 35 years but his latest work is a major disappointment. Spillane's Hammer has aged along with Spillane with the result that he is more like Barnaby Jones than the Hammer of old. He talks about his buddies from the "War" and the way he talks (and acts), you realize it is WWII.
The story starts with him gut shot and for the rest of the book, he hobbles around. Where the Mike of old would have performed surgery on himself, reloaded the bullet and shot someone with it, this Hammer keeps going to the doctor and complaining. He gets engaged to Velda, she's more than willing, and he does nothing about it. Enough said? Like Agatha Christie, Alistair MacLean and others, age seems to have sapped Spillane's talents. My advice is to skip this book, find some vintage Spillane and enjoy the ride.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mike and Velda Become Closer in a Lousy Plot 13 May 2004
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This story has so many flaws, it's not worth listing them all. If you like your hard-boiled characters turning sensitive and up-scale, you may like this book. But Mike Hammer it isn't! The name's the same, but almost all of the details have changed for the worse.
Mike awakes from a coma to find he is recovering from a life-threatening wound. In a crazy and improbable tale, a surgeon turned drunk has picked him up and saved his life. The book's title refers to the temptation to take the black alley towards death. His recovery is cut short when an old army pal calls him back to his death bed, where Mike learns about a missing $89 billion that his friend has hidden. The search for the money is complicated by Mike's finally proposing to Velda, and her accepting.
To me, the whole injury recovery, the missing $89 billion, and the way Mike lives are all very dissatisfying.
What I loved about the book was the way that Mike keeps to his idealism when it comes to his love for Velda. No modern monkeyshines for him! That aspect of the book was the only one that rang true for me.
If you love Mike Hammer, you may want to skip this book. You won't feel the same about the character or the series if you read this book. If you have never read Mike Hammer, this book may seem a little less bad to you.
If you do decide to read the book, I suggest that you think about where you can uphold your standards in ways that will make your life and the lives of those around you better.
Be yourself . . . in a helpful way!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mickey Spillane "Black Alley" From Amazon. 31 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Black Alley Enjoyed this book a lot. It was a more modern Mike Hammer Why he had a cell phone. The story as usual was great. Trouble with a good book is you cant put it down. Hence read quicker have to buy another. Still worth it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mickey Spillane The dark Alley 26 Nov 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Once in a while I enjoy readng a Mike Hammer novel which I wouldn`t do if it were not for his highly idiomatic and creative language. Mike Hammer`s moral standard is that of a boderline case which makes it worth reading with a sardonic smile over your liver.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black Alley 14 Nov 2002
By Patrick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Would you risk your life and the life of your beautiful fiancé over and over in hope of finding 89 billion dollars? This is what the famous, fictitious detective, Mike Hammer does in Black Alley. Mike Hammer, the ruthless, New York City detective fights crime in this action-packed mystery. Not only is Hammer after the loot, he is also out for revenge, after his friend dies from gunshots.
The novel begins with Mike Hammer recovering from bullet wounds received during infiltration of a drug war, which he almost died from. After being thought dead by all of his close friends and family for 8 months, he comes back and resumes his normal, exciting life. When his friend from the war is on his deathbed, he clues him in on a pot of 89 billion dollars he stole and hid from the dons of the mafia. Young, greedy mobsters are also looking for the pot, which they should have inherited, had it not been stolen. Mike Hammer takes on the whole mafia, coolly, in imperfect health.
Black Alley is a thrilling story of good vs. bad. The novel was never too predictable with many unexpected plot twists. As in all Mike Hammer tales, there is a lot of killing, revenge, girls, and near-death struggles. The book was never boring, even in calm parts. It painted a vivid picture in my mind of the numerous settings as well as the various characters. It has a fast pace with many encounters of hostile mobsters. It is a good conclusion of the Mike Hammer series, by Mickey Spillane. This emotive story is suitable for people who like mysteries, don't mind reading about murder, and enjoy gunfights. Anyone who thoroughly enjoyed a James Bond novel or movie will like this book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A race to find hidden loot 23 Feb 2002
By Fred Camfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Good light fiction for a rainy evening or such. Mike Hammer is in Florida recovering from gunshot wounds when he is called back to New York to the bedside of a dying Army buddy, shot by a person unknown. As he is dying, he reveals to Hammer that $89 billion of mob assets have been hidden (yes, that is billion with a "b"). He pulled a switcheroo on the Mafia, and is the only one who knows the location. He gives a clue to Hammer as he dies. Then the race is on.
Members of the mob want their ill-gotten gains returned (money is power). Federal agents want it. The police, of course, are interested. Hammer is looking for both the loot and his friend's killer. Making sense of the clues is a challenge - an urn of his buddy's ashes with a fake military i.d. number, an old rundown boat, and the man's house which has already been torn apart by the mob. There are the usual Hammer type confrontations with some amount of violence and occasional dead bodies.
This is more loot than you can hide in a mattress. Some rough calculations indicate a warehouse sized space would be needed. So where is it, and if Hammer finds the loot will he be a good guy and turn it in? Hmmm... What would you do?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Power is (still) with Spillane 8 Dec 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have never read a Mike Hammer book that I did not like and "The Black Alley" is no exception. Mike is mellowed, but only a little, as he returns from the (almost) dead to right the wrongs, fight the bad guys, and love the girls in the style that only Spillane can create. This is another one of the Mike Hammer books that you just cannot lay down.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Long in the tooth, short in the action, this Hammer doesn't 30 Jun 1998
By Ray King - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read and enjoyed Spillane for 35 years but his latest work is a major disappointment. Spillane's Hammer has aged along with Spillane with the result that he is more like Barnaby Jones than the Hammer of old. He talks about his buddies from the "War" and the way he talks (and acts), you realize it is WWII.
The story starts with him gut shot and for the rest of the book, he hobbles around. Where the Mike of old would have performed surgery on himself, reloaded the bullet and shot someone with it, this Hammer keeps going to the doctor and complaining. He gets engaged to Velda, she's more than willing, and he does nothing about it. Enough said? Like Agatha Christie, Alistair MacLean and others, age seems to have sapped Spillane's talents. My advice is to skip this book, find some vintage Spillane and enjoy the ride.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Grandmaster Says Good-Bye 9 July 2003
By Hauke Rudolph - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Black Alley is the latest and possibly last book in the Mike Hammer series, featuring the toughest private eye in the business.
Hammer is out to avenge the death of an old war-buddy, who was murdered during a mysterious burglary. His vendetta is complicated by several events: He catches a bullet during a mafia gang shootout, which renders him weak and vulnerable througout the book; his dying friend reveals the approximate location of a 89 billion dollar stash that he has stolen and hidden from the mob, who - of course - want to get their money back; and last, but not least, Velda, Hammer's beautiful secretary, is adamant in her desire to finally walk him down the aisle.
Black Alley is somewhat different from the previous Hammer-novels. The crime noir atmosphere is missing for the most part; Hammer has definitely arrived at modernity. This becomes apparent when the hero muses about and decries corporate America, aluminum beer cans, and the future of warfare, which he believes to bring about "ugly, destructive death" due to the use of chemical and biological weapons. Moreover, some humor is added, in the form of Miller Lite Beer, which is consumed in considerable quantities throughout the book (Spillane appeared in TV ads for Miller Lite in the 70s).
It is obvious that Hammer is nearing retirement. Having just recovered from an almost fatal gunshot wound, he is feeble throughout the book. And he does something he has never done before: When he has finally cornered the villain, he does not finish him off with a bullet in his guts, but turns him over to the cops. However, don't be fooled by Mike's ostensible softness - he is still dangerous, and the turks who are trying to take his place still get their feathers ruffled.
Black Alley is not one of Spillane's strongest books. At times, the plot is somewhat predictable; the characters are rather transparent; and the final solution lacks the shocking explosion of the other Hammer novels. On the other hand, perhaps Spillane didn't even attempt to create an ending like that - for a good-bye to his fans the book's ending is definitely better suited, and as a good-bye Black Alley seems to be intended, after all.
Despite its not-so-great plot and characters, the book is still a gem. Spillane's style is still unmatched by any author in the genre. He still makes you not want to put the book down before you've arrived at the last page. In case this is really his last Hammer novel, I would like to extend a sincere "thank you" to him. What he has written is not just "good garbage", as he once described his novels in a reply to his numerous critics, but literature that will stand the test of time. Let's all have a Miller Lite now. Cheers!!
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