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  • The Murder Room

The Twisted Thing

Mickey Spillane

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Mike Hammer, Fiction, Crime & mystery

'[Spillane] was a quintessential Cold War writer, an unconditional believer in good and evil' Washington Times

This is some household. The kid is a genius, the father a scientist of international repute. Money is a problem. Not a shortage of money, but the opposite: too much. The sort of money that brings the envious and the scheming clustering like flies around offal: nieces, nephews, cousins ... a family of mean minds and gross appetites.

The staff has its peculiarities, too: the chauffeur is an ex-con; the governess formerly a featured act in strip clubs from New York to Miami; and the secretary has a well-developed taste in other women.

Yes, it's some household - and not all that welcoming of PI Mike Hammer, not when the kid has been kidnapped and everyone's a suspect.

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Mickey Spillane

Born Frank Morrison Spillane in Brooklyn, New York City, Mickey Spillane started writing while at high school. During the Second World War, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and became a fighter pilot and instructor. After the war, he moved to South Carolina. He was married three times, the third time to Jane Rogers Johnson, and had four children and two stepchildren. He wrote his first novel, I, the Jury (1947), in order to raise the money to buy a house for himself and his first wife, Mary Ann Pearce. The novel sold six and a half million copies in the United States, and introduced Spillane's most famous character, the hardboiled PI Mike Hammer. The many novels that followed became instant bestsellers, until in 1980 the US all-time fiction bestseller list of fifteen titles boasted seven by Mickey Spillane. More than 225 million copies of his books have sold internationally. He was uniformly disliked by critics, owing to the high content of sex and violence in his books. However, he was later praised by American mystery writers Max Alan Collins and William L. DeAndrea, as well as artist Markus Lupertz. The novelist Ayn Rand, a friend of Spillane's, appreciated the black-and-white morality of his books. Spillane was an active Jehovah's Witness. He died in 2006.

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