Before Jack Reacher . . . there was Mike Hammer
One night, a blonde jumps out in front of PI Mike Hammer's car. She's so scared he doesn't have much choice but to give her a ride. At a police roadblock, he discovers she's on the run from a sanatorium, but he passes her off as his wife. Other people besides the police are after the blonde, and these people play rough. Real rough.
The blonde turns out to be the star witness against some big-time mobsters. Mike has blundered into something unimaginably big, but the Feds don't want him involved - and take his PI licence and gun.
For Mike, it's a chance to strike a blow against evil on a grand scale. He discovers that something representing a great deal of money, and a lot of power, has gone missing, and that some people will go to any lengths to get it back . . .
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.