Posts Tagged ‘Complex 90’

Complex 90 Now On Kindle!

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

After an inexplicable screw-up has finally been resolved, the new Spillane/Collins Mike Hammer novel, COMPLEX 90, is available as a Kindle e-book.

This week’s blog entry will be very short, because my son Nate was in Georgia over the weekend with his wife Abby, at a wedding, and will still be on the road when normally he would post this. So I am making his life (and, well, mine, a little) easier with this brief entry.

I will be starting the sixth and final Mike Hammer novel (of the substantial Hammer manuscripts in Mickey’s files), KING OF THE WEEDS, today. I was supposed to do that last week, but more galley proofs came in as well as some other unexpected writing chores. Chronologically, this is the penultimate novel in the saga – it was conceived to be the last Hammer, until 9/11 inspired Mickey to put it aside to write THE GOLIATH BONE. It is, in some respects, a sequel to BLACK ALLEY, the last Hammer published during Mickey’s lifetime.

Again, for those of you who want to see more, the best way to make that happen is to encourage other readers to pick up COMPLEX 90 (in whatever form) and post reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. There are three more significant (if shorter) Hammer manuscripts, all from the 1950s, that could be the next three novels.

By the way, the offer of advances proofs of WHAT DOESN’T KILL HER saw the ten copies disappearing quickly, ditto the five offered review copies of ANTIQUES CHOP. Of the former, I am trying to get another five or six copies to fill the requests that trailed in. Many thanks to those of you who offered to read and review these novels – the books are going out today.

Reviews of COMPLEX 90 continue, like this A-plus one from Pullbox Review.

Finally, the very sharp UK reviewer, Mike Carlson, is less effusive but mostly positive about COMPLEX 90 here.

M.A.C.

First One’s Free

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

First, let me address a concern a number of readers have expressed – Amazon is listing COMPLEX 90 as not yet available on Kindle. I don’t have an answer yet, but I’m assured by Titan that this is just a glitch and that it will be straightened out, and soon. The novel is available on Nook. We’ll post here and at Facebook and on Twitter when the book is available on Kindle.

I hope you’re admiring the cover of WHAT DOESN’T KILL HER, the new thriller that will be published by Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer line in mid-September. Do I have a deal for you….

I have ten advance galley proofs of WHAT DOESN’T KILL HER that I will make available to readers of this blog who pledge to write an Amazon review. (That review need not be favorable, but if you hate the book, and don’t care to comment on it, that would be okay, too.) It’s very important to get some advance buzz going and some Amazon reviews would help greatly. E-mail me at and request a copy, including your e-mail address.

If you have a regular reviewing blog, or just write occasional reviews in a more general blog, you can request a copy, too.

These are rather generic-looking books (the snazzy cover isn’t on this advance galley) and there are typos and a few minor revisions have been made since. But it’s the book and will suffice for reviewing purposes. I’m particularly anxious to have readers who haven’t sampled my thriller work (like the books I did with Matt Clemens at Kensington – Matt worked hand-in-hand with me on this one, too) give WHAT DOESN’T KILL HER a try.

Additionally, we have half a dozen extra hardcovers of the new ANTIQUES mystery by “Barbara Allan” – ANTIQUES CHOP. If you are interested in posting an Amazon review, we will send you one of those. Because of the limited number of copies, we’d prefer you ask for one or the other of these, though it’s also okay to suggest order of preference (i.e., if we’ve run through the ANTIQUES CHOP copies, that you’d be interested in receiving WHAT DOESN’T KILL HER).

[Nate here: All out of books this time around! Thanks for the fantastic response! If you have a regular review column or blog, you can still contact Max and he will try to get a review copy sent by the publisher. @Friday, 8:00AM]

Again, if you have a reviewing blog or a blog where you occasionally write reviews, I can get a copy of CHOP to you on request.

This is an experiment, and again we aren’t fishing for good reviews other than posting this offer at a site where presumably readers inclined favorably to my/our work might drop by.

I do repeat that any author whose work you admire – any book you enjoy – you are aiding by posting even a very brief positive Amazon review.

* * *

Speaking of “Barbara Allan,” Barb and I celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary on June 1st. We traveled to the Chicago area for two days of reckless abandon (food, shopping, and none-of-your-business). Along the way we saw an entertaining if implausible film, NOW YOU SEE ME, and took in the Trey Parker/Matt Stone musical THE BOOK OF MORMON in the Loop. We go back to the beginning of SOUTH PARK as fans – actually before that, because my pal Phil Dingeldein had shared “The Spirit of Christmas” with me prior to the series – and Barb and I enjoyed the energetic, funny, profane performance a great deal. It’s very much in the vein of REEFER MADNESS and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (the musical versions, that is), and to us that’s a good thing.

It’s a very expensive show to go to, however, and we sat it in a theater filled with limited and obstructed seating; but we were in Chicago and were able to bribe an usher to get better seats.

* * *

Casting continues on the Quarry pilot, with lots of attendant Net attention. Here are a couple of examples.

http://www.deadline.com/2013/05/noah-taylor-cast-in-cinemax-pilot-quarry/

http://www.denofgeek.us/tv/quarry/124934/game-of-thrones-noah-taylor-cast-for-cinemaxs-quarry

The NPR interview with me about COMPLEX 90 got incredible Net response. See Nate’s mini-update below for a link.

And the favorable COMPLEX 90 reviews continue to roll in, like this one at Geek Hard Show.

Here’s another cool COMPLEX 90 review from Retrenders.

And one from Team Hellion.

And SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT continues to get nice attention, as in this write-up.

The lovely Hermes Press collection of the MIKE HAMMER comic strip gets a fine write-up here. A pity this isn’t getting more press.

Finally, an intelligent discussion at Hidden Face Crime discusses my reluctance to put the murder on the first page of every suspense novel I write.

M.A.C.

MAC on NPR

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

If you missed Max on NPR, they’ve posted the seven minute COMPLEX 90 interview (streaming and download), along with a transcript of the highlights, and an excerpt from the book.

Here’s the link:

http://www.npr.org/2013/06/01/187093598/pulp-fictions-bad-boy-mike-hammer-returns-in-complex-90

And don’t forget to check back on Tuesday for the weekly update!

The Guy Who Was Quarry

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
The Wrong Quarry

Writing this on Memorial Day, I am reflecting on how the novel QUARRY (aka THE BROKER) came to be, especially in light of the recent casting of Logan Marshall-Green in the lead of the HBO/Cinemax pilot. Whether this pilot goes to series or not, it’s almost mind-boggling to me that something I created at the University of Iowa Writers Workshop back in 1972 would have such continuing resonance.

Again, because it’s Memorial Day, I am thinking about my late friend Jon McRae, one of the funniest and most troubled guys I ever knew – and often the troubled side of him was very funny. He was very much the inspiration for Quarry, although Quarry himself is much more me than Jon. But like Quarry, Jon did come home from Vietnam to find his wife cheating on him (he did not murder the guy, though I’m sure it occurred to him), and he was the textbook example of a decent Midwestern kid who went into the military to become a hero, and indeed became one…but a fucked-up one.

Jon used to come home and stay with us on his leaves. I noticed he had begun to drink heavily – lots of vodka. He was a machine-gunner in the tail of a chopper, a job with the highest mortality rate in that war; in that circumstance, I would have been into vodka myself. Jon loved my books and would show up on his leave with a bag filled with whatever weapons I had written about lately. He said I needed to handle the guns that my characters used. We would go out to a garbage dump and shoot the place up. It was great fun.

He was a sweet guy, I swear to God. He was a romantic. He was a huge movie buff, particularly ‘30s and ‘40s ones. He was the first among us to bring a James Bond-like briefcase to school (many of us followed suit).

But after he was in the service, everywhere he went, he packed a gun. I was always a little edgy around him. On leave, he would wear a buckskin coat like Sheriff Brennan’s son John in NO CURE FOR DEATH (that character was directly based on him), and also a longhair wig. He would go with the Daybreakers on band jobs, and when we ate at truck stops afterward, he would bait truckers into calling him a hippie and then hurl them against a wall.

He also went to my classes with me at the University of Iowa, no longhair wig there, rather a full-dress uniform, silently daring any anti-war protester to call him a baby killer.

Jon is gone now, under somewhat mysterious circumstances. He stayed in the Marines for a long time, but I believe he was a civilian, somewhere in the Philippines, when he passed, maybe twenty years ago – again, I have no idea what the details are, or even the vague outlines for that matter.

The Quarry novels are all dark comedies, which is to say tragedies played out so absurdly you have to laugh. The idea of Quarry was always that he was me, and us – that he was a decent, intelligent but fairly ordinary young man who was sent off to fight a meaningless war. We have never been the same since that war. Those of us who did not go would watch body bags getting loaded onto choppers (like the one Jon flew) as we ate our evening dinner on TV trays. It made us numb. But that whole war made us numb. It wasn’t a fight against Hitler or even the imperialistic Japanese. To this day, no one really knows what that war was about. And it damaged us all.

But it damaged guys like Jon most. God bless him, and all the other Quarries who fought for us, despite the vagueness of the mission, heroes we did not treat nearly well enough upon their return.

* * *

The COMPLEX 90 reviews keep coming in, and most are very good, even raves. Check out this terrific one from Noir Journal, where it’s the featured book.

Full disclosure: Ed Gorman is one of my best friends. But he’s always one of our greatest living crime-fiction writers, and somebody who (like me) defended Mickey Spillane back when others threw bricks. I’m delighted that he wrote favorably about COMPLEX 90 at this terrific blog.

Now and then we get reviewed at Not the Baseball Pitcher, and I am always impressed with the blogger’s work. He likes COMPLEX 90.

I get a real charge out of seeing positive reactions to the Hammer books from young people who have never read a Spillane or Collins book before. This is a very cool one.

This is an interesting, mostly negative review that I think says more about the UK reviewer than it does about the book, and reminds me of the kind of hysterical attacks (“wish fulfilment wank fantasy for hardened Republicans”) that used to be leveled against Mickey, though oddly the reviewer does credit Spillane for his importance and power. If you haven’t read the book yet, there are spoilers.

Here’s a really nice piece from a comics fan about the film version of ROAD TO PERDITION.

And finally, here’s a fun review of the reprint of the Nolan novel, FLY PAPER.

M.A.C.