Review: I, the Jury by Mickey Spillane

I, the Jury by Mickey Spilane
I, the Jury by Mickey Spillane

Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye with its lyrical prose and distinct voice is a tough act to follow.  It is no small surprise then that I, the Jury, the first of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer novels, falls a bit short when viewed alongside Chandler’s work.  Despite being roughly 30 years apart in age both Chandler and Spillane were publishing hardboiled fiction at the height of the genre’s popularity throughout the late 40s and fifties.  I, the Jury was published in 1948 just one year before the 5th Marlowe novel, The Little Sister and just two years after The Big Sleep starring Humphrey Bogart hit theaters.  In a bit of a reversal, it is interesting to note that just as The Long Goodbye was hitting print I, the Jury was hitting the silver screen in 3d (bizarre right?).  There has been a Mike Hammer novel published at least once a decade, there is a ten year gap between Kiss Me, Deadly in 1952 and The Girl Hunters in 1962 and the tail end of Spillane’s life is sparse in terms of publishing, with the latest novel The Goliath Bone completed by Max Collins and published posthumously in 2008.

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