My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.
The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review via NetGalley.
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, though in a way I wish I had 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 to Mike about 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 have not previously read anything in the Mike Hammer series or because it was a short story I didn’t find myself draw into the story as much as I had hoped I would be. 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, and 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 have to read that first paragraph a good two to three 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 is worth checking out. However if you are looking for a longer length in-depth mystery novel then this is likely not what you are going to pick up but still could prove a good little read.
This review and others can also be found on Exploring All Genres.