The New Adventures of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, Vol. 2: The Little Death
This audio book brings back Stacy Keach in the role of Mike Hammer he made famous back in the 80's and 90's. As any real Keach/Hammer fan would hope, Spillane protégé author Max Allan Collins sticks to the true Spillane-Hammer formula that works, and is a bit grittier to boot without the constraints of broadcast television: a crime is committed... it gets personal for Hammer... Mike hits the streets to deliver justice-- Hammer style!
Familiar characters are present: Velda, Captain Pat Chambers, Maya, Betsy (he, he), etc. and the voice work by the actors playing each is excellent (Velda sounds just like Lindsay Bloom from the 80's TV series, but the voice of Captain Pat Chambers reminds me more of Captain Skip Gleason from the 90's series). Mind you, like Volume 1, this is a complete audio production with skilled voice actors, music, sound effects, etc. and it is extremely immersive (especially if you close your eyes or listen to it in bed in the dark!), not a "read by" type audio book.
It would have been great to get some more of the original actors in on this production (like Lindsay Bloom, Don Stroud, Kent Williams, Ben Powers as Moochie, Danny Goldman as Ozzy the Answer, etc). Happily, Malgosia Tomassi reprises her role as the charming yoga instructor Maya from the 90's series (she also happens to be married to Stacy Keach in real life). Of course Stacy Keach himself delivers Hammer with utter perfection, narrating and voice acting in the same style as the beloved TV series.
This Volume 2 CD delivers a feature film length noir style murder mystery audio book, unlike Volume 1 which provides two mutually exclusive TV episode length audio book mysteries. I appreciated the extra time, and while I totally enjoyed Volume 1, I'd prefer future productions to be full-length like Volume 2. I purchased the mp3 version, which thankfully is DRM free (distributed on a CD-ROM as 28 individual mp3 files and a playlist).
Stacy Keach, if you happen to read this, thanks for being dedicated to your Hammer fans. These high quality audio book productions are awesome. I hope you keep them coming!