After a hiatus of 50 years, I read this hardboiled novel again. I was in high school the first time and very taken by the tough-guy attitude and Mike Hammer's ease with willing women. I had neither and still don't, I'll add as an aside. The book still works for me, but for somewhat different reasons. Nickel calls, "rods," cheap subway fares, etc. date it but delightfully so. After all, 1950 (when this was published) was in a vastly different world from today.
The plot doesn't really matter much. We see Mike Hammer get beaten severely of an evening, never hospitalized, and fully recovered apparently by morning. So what? That's part of the theme in Spillane. The dark, wet streets of Manhattan are a perfect setting, a sort of film noir on paper. The characters are comic book cutouts, hookers with good hearts, twisted bad dudes, tough-minded and tough-muscled good guys. The dialogue is almost funny sometimes, especially in the last chapter with Hammer laying it all out for the lord-high evil doer. And we don't get the denouement until the last page. Mickey Spillane doesn't waste time with cool downs.
I give this one five stars for nostalgia if for nothing else.