Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Did You Hear About Morgan?

Author Max Allan Collins first mentioned The Consummata to me during an interview I conducted with him for The Rap Sheet last May. It’s the long-awaited sequel to Mickey Spillane’s 1967 thriller, The Delta Factor, featuring a professional thief known only as Morgan the Raider. The Consummata was one in a small stack of uncompleted manuscripts that Spillane left behind--and specifically in Collins’ care--when he died in the summer of 2006. Since that time, Collins has been slowly but surely finishing those Spillane yarns and arranging for their publication. He wrote in his blog earlier this month that wrapping up The Consummata was more difficult than some of those previous projects:
I’m very pleased with it, but it was a tricky one. Mickey had completed 108 double-spaced pages, but this time I had no plot or character notes. Even the evocative title itself (which had been announced by Signet Books many years ago) went unexplained. It required really getting inside the manuscript, and Mickey’s head, to figure out where he was headed ... and I think I pulled it off.
This book isn’t due out from reborn publisher Hard Case Crime until September 2011, but Collins has already posted the cover (shown above). You may recognize the illustration as coming from famous paperback artist Robert McGinnis--the second time he has created the front for one of Collins’ numerous novels. (McGinnis’ previous one was for The Last Quarry, 2006.) And if you think you’ve seen another cover from McGinnis’ brush that bears a striking resemblance to this one ... well, pat yourself on the back, because you’re right. The 1972 Signet paperback edition of The Bombshell, by Carter Brown (shown on the right) focuses on a very similarly posed woman, only in that one, the lady dangled a flower in her left hand, rather than a pistol.

Click on either cover for an enlargement.

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