Book Review: Skin by Mickey Spillane

Title: Skin

Author: Mickey Spillane

Page Count: 36

Publish Date: July 17, 2012

Publisher: Dutton


A beautiful reporter. A secret ritual in a graveyard. A disembodied hand on the side of the road. Mike Hammer returns in one of the most shocking cases of his storied career.

Private Investigator Mike Hammer may be getting older, but he hasn’t lost his step. So when he spots a brutally destroyed corpse on the side of the road in upstate New York, unrecognizable as human except for the disembodied hand lying next to it, there’s no question of him not taking the case. Especially when Melodie Anderson, the stunning young reporter determined to investigate, goes missing. But as Mike sifts through Melodie’s leads in a race to find her before it’s too late, he discovers a murder method more horrible than anything he’s ever come across… and one that neither he nor Melodie may be able to escape.

A short story begun by the late icon Mickey Spillane and completed by his long-time collaborator Max Allan Collins, Skin is a heart-pounding addition to the world of Mike Hammer.


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My Review:

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review via NetGalley.

Thrillers are not something I have read much of. They don’t tend to make it onto my TBR very often. However, as someone who has an interest in reading all genres, I decided to give this one a try. What better way to try a new genre than diving into a short story?

Skin is a collaboration between Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins. It is part of the Mike Hammer series, however, you do not need to read any of the other books to follow the story. However, in a way, I wish I had in order to get a better sense of who Mike Hammer is and to see the previous cases he had worked on. This short story covers the discovery and investigation behind a gruesome pile of human remains found by Mike Hammer on his way home from a meeting. Only a severed hand at the scene tells them that it is or was a human.

A young beautiful reporter, Melodie, arrives on the scene and interviews Mike and his friend/fellow investigator. Though Mike is nearing retirement (or perhaps has retired, I wasn’t too sure) he insists on being involved in the case. She mentions previous cases that may tie into this one and does some investigating of her own. But neither of them foresaw what was to happen next. When Melodie goes missing it’s up to Mike to figure out what happened to her before the murderer kills her as well. In the end, Mike finds the guy, and thanks to something Melodie says, takes matters into his own hands right before the police arrive.

Now, whether it was because I had not previously read other books in the Mike Hammer series or because it was a short story I didn’t find myself fully drawn into the story. I found Mike Hammer to be dull at the beginning when he and his friend Pat were talking at the scene. I just wanted them to do something more interesting. Even as the story progressed Mike Hammer was not an interesting character. While I was somewhat impressed with the ending I can’t say this story was anything special. The conversations were a bit dry, even when they were talking about the case, either standing at the crime scene or sitting in a diner discussing the horrific details while others listened in during their meals (most of which ended up leaving because of that).

One problem I did have was with the formatting of the story. Not sure if it was simply the version I received or not but I found the foreword and the actual start of the story were mashed all into one paragraph making me confused as to where the real story started. I had to read that first paragraph a few times in order to find the break that signified the end of the foreword and the start of the story. If you are looking for a quick read in the Thriller/Mystery genre or more from the Mike Hammer series, then this short story may be worth checking out. However, if you are looking for an in-depth mystery novel then this is likely not what you are going to pick up but still could prove a good little read.

Have you read Skin? What did you think?

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