Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Taking up Mickey Spillane's mantle
Before his death in 2006, America's one-time bestselling crime writer entrusted the draft of his final Mike Hammer novel to friend and fan Max Allan Collins. The writer explains what it was like to complete his mentor's manuscript

Chris Wiegand writing in, Tuesday 3 February 2009

A tough act to follow ... Mickey Spillane (left) back in the day in his studio in 1952. Photograph: AP

Mickey Spillane had unfinished business when he died in 2006. The hard-boiled heavyweight who, in his prime, would dash off thrillers in a matter of days, hadn't finished the final outing of his hot-headed New York detective Mike Hammer.
The Goliath Bone, a valedictory case set in the wake of 9/11, lay incomplete. But the 88-year-old Spillane was determined to give his hero the send-off he deserved and, before he died, entrusted the book to mystery writer Max Allan Collins, who has been a Hammer fan since adolescence.

The Goliath Bone
by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins

So what is it like to finish the novel of a friend who also happens to be the bestselling American crime writer of the last century? When I call the lively, good-humoured Collins at home in Iowa, it sounds like he still can't believe he met his hero, let alone was charged with safeguarding his legacy. It's an honour, a responsibility and a "kid-in-the-candy-store sensation," he says. "Mickey had been creating these half-manuscripts and setting them aside throughout our friendship, and I had a reasonable expectation that I'd be chosen to complete them. Just days before his death, he told his wife Jane, 'When I go, there's going to be a treasure hunt around here. Give everything to Max – he'll know what to do with it.'"
Read the full story at the Guardian online, it contains great news for crime fiction buffs.

1 comment:

Cullen Gallagher said...

If you like Spillane, I just scanned a vintage article about him from a 1952 issue of TRUE: THE MAN'S MAGAZINE.

Thanks for posting the link to the Guardian article.