Mike Hammer is a very tough NYC PI. In fact he is so tough he makes the Superman look like an innocent toddler. His best friend is brutally murdered and he is out on a hunt for the killer who will die in exactly the same way his victim died - at least this is what Mike Hummer wants.
I consider myself a polite guy. For this reason alone I will not ask the most obvious question which came to me after I finished reading: who decided to publish this tripe of a novel from a hack of an author? I will only say that the debut is underwhelming. I would be the first to admit one of my problems was reading this book right after Raymond Chandler who really was a great writer. These two really cannot be compared.
Where do I start? To call Mike Hammer two-dimensional would be a great insult to a countless number of very well written two-dimensional characters from all literature genres. The guy is as one-dimensional as they come. He conducts his investigations with the finesse of a charging rhino. He bullies the women and beats up the men to get the information he wants. When he is not busy doing this, he dodges drop-dead gorgeous women who jump at him on practically every page. I set off on a personal quest to find a single plain-looking woman in a book, let alone an ugly one; I failed miserably.
It did not help any that I was able to solve the mystery after I was in 47% of the book - I counted this just for statistical purposes. Mike Hammer is completely stupid and blind at the same time and could not see the solution until it literally hit him in the face - after a couple of deaths more which could have been prevented. The series has a reputation for being over-the-top violent. I found it to be tame if you compare it to the other works of the genre. The difference is in how the violence is handled: Raymond Chandler does it skillfully while in this case it is as bland as a sledgehammer.
How comes our PI never gets into troubles for his interrogation methods, you ask? Very easy, he has a high-ranking cop as his buddy who is conveniently even more stupid than Mike Hammer despite having a big chunk of NYPD resources under his command.
I may sound too harsh in my review. The novel has some charm even with all of its problems, I am not completely sure I will never read any more books of the series in the future; I might. For anybody who wants to read a good book of the genre please look into real masters: Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.
This review is a copy/paste of my BookLikes one: http://gene.booklikes.com/post/975578/the-series-debut-is-underwhelming-to-say-the-least