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    Review of SOMETHING'S DOWN THERE by Mickey Spillane

    Simon & Schuster, December 2003

    Aging cold warrior Mako Hooker has retired to the islands where he fishes and doesn't do much else. But rumors of a boat killer are starting to mount and the Company,' anxious to pick up political favors, sends a team into the area to find out whether the long extinct mega-shark has emerged. Because Mako has seen the six-inch broad bite marks that the killer has left. Along with the Company team, a cruise ship filled with millionaires and a Hollywood filming team are in the area.

    Mako's friend and boat captain pushes Maco into a relationship with be beautiful millionaire Judy (a.k.a. 'Doll'). That is the good news. The bad news is that the woman on the Company team is gunning for a chance to kill Maco and one of the Hollywood men is a Mafiosa. The Mafiosa may be playing legitimate now, but Mako knows that it's only a matter of time before he decides to go for illegal profits. A number of suspicious deaths in his past make Mako even more suspicious.

    Author Mickey Spillane has been writing hard-boiled action for more than half a century and he can still turn out captivating action. Still, SOMETHING'S DOWN THERE didn't seem quite put together. I wasn't clear why the Mafiosa had to be there and what illegal objective he was seeking that even a legitimate Hollywood manager (if there is such a thing) wouldn't be doing. The boat-killer is an intriguing concept but was perhaps too easy to guess and its final resolution seemed unsatisfactory to me. And the relationship between Mako and Judy seemed just a little too sexist for me to buy into. Finally, Spillane's characters occasionally date themselves, talking about World War II as if it was a recent event and as if veterans of that war were still active in espionage.

    SOMETHING'S DOWN THERE is flawed, but it is still interesting and occasionally compelling. Spillane maintains a way with words even in a story that is not his best.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 1/11/04

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