Delta Factor

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Mickey Spillane was one of the world's most popular mystery writers. His specialty was tight-fisted, sadistic revenge stories, often featuring his alcoholic gumshoe Mike Hammer and a cast of evildoers who launder money or spout the Communist Party line.

His writing style was characterized by short words, lightning transitions, gruff sex and violent endings. It was once tallied that he offed 58 peop

[Reading] ➷ Delta Factor Author Mickey Spillane –
  • Hardcover
  • 219 pages
  • Delta Factor
  • Mickey Spillane
  • English
  • 21 June 2018

10 thoughts on “Delta Factor

  1. says:

    Mickey Spillane wrote a number of novels besides his best-known series, the Mike Hammer series. He wrote two novels (and should have written many more) about Morgan the Raider: (1) "Delta Factor" and (2) "The Consummata" (published posthumously with help from Max Collins). These are both excellent novels and are great fun to read.

    Morgan (named after the famous English pirate) is a thief, a heister, who, with a team of accomplices, knocked over a Treasury Department armored vehicle to the tune of $40 million. He was captured, placed in a maximum security facility, managed to break out, and was captured again. Now the CIA (although not specifically named) has a job for him that could result in the reduction of his sentence. No, they are not going to try to make Morgan the Raider turn on his fellow crooks. Rather, considering he broke out of the most unbreakable prison, he possesses unique skills to break someone else out of a prison - a scientist desperately needed for the US war effort for his expertise with biological agents.

    The prison is in Neuvo Cadiz, a small Caribbean country run by an oligarchy and getting fat off the gamblers who needed somewhere to go after Castro took over Cuba. Nuevo Cadiz was a small corrupt country and was in the middle of the cold war, meaning it could fall either way between the US and Soviet orbits. Of course, it wouldn't be any fun if the CIA didn't set Morgan up with a sexy female agent to pose as his new wife and, together, they sneak into the country and plot to break the doctor out of the prison while acting like a honeymooning couple perched in a hotel with an exciting casino.

    The novel has Spillane's usual excellent writing. Morgan explains that he was only captured because "a punk kid in a stolen heap being chased by a squad car [smashed him] through a store window, and an overzealous intern" submitted his fingerprints to the local precinct house. Meanwhile, he explains that he is drifting in and of sleep in the hospital bed "in a pleasant void of sleep where there weren't any aches or pains and the dreams all had nice, creamy-skinned women in them." This is no pseudo-James Bond novel of which more than a few were published in the late sixties. This novel is vintage Spillane and is filled with action and intrigue.

    The heroine of this novel, Kim Stacy, had hair that "was long and dark, sun-streaked in spots and tumbled around her shoulders in a carefully casual manner that almost made you stop looking at the rest of her. Except that was impossible." The witty back and forth between Morgan and Kim immediately makes you think about a movie tie-in and who should play Kim besides Claudia Cardinale and Raquel Welch, although word is the movie didn't do well even with Yvette Mimieux as Kim.

    Not too many writers succeed in moving the action to an exotic locale without making the story a bit ridiculous, but Spillane succeeds here and captures the essence of a captive nation where every word and every telephone call is listened to and everyone is getting pressured to spy on each other.

    This novel is just out and out fun to read. It is an absolute blast and what makes Spillane such a great writer is novels such as this one. Morgan is quite a character, but he is not Hammer. He is a looser character emeshed in the underworld.

  2. says:

    if you like Spillane, this is one of his better ones, a stand alone novel about Morgan the Raider. While I started out reading & like his famous Mike Hammer series, I've found his short stories & stand alones to be much better & don't like the Tiger Mann series at all. This one isn't quite a 5 star Spillane, but it ranks pretty close to the top. There is a bit too much luck & angst involved, but they're always a factor in his writing.

    Morgan, the man, learning about his past, how tough & good he is, is the point of the story. He's not just the hero of an action story, but the reason for it. If you're not into a tough guy ego trip, this isn't the book for you, although the action is pretty good. The setting & time is intentionally obscured, but is still somewhat dated. There are Commies, that everyone knows are bad. Long distance service to the Caribbean island is by radio only.

    It was a fun read on a cold, windy & snowy day. A perfect way to relax & a good break from the epic fantasy series I'm reading right now.

  3. says:

    An original Spillane from the 1960's that I had not read. As I have the sequel, completed by Max Allen Collins, I needed to read this one first. Out of print so it took me some time to track down a copy.

    A bit of departure from his usual hard boiled detective style, the hero of this book is a master criminal forced to work for the US Government. Very much in the action adventure/espionage category it did not seem to have any classic Spillane wit in it. This left me feeling less than enthusiastic about the whole thing. The twist at the very end was pretty good and I hope the sequel follows up on what happened there.

  4. says:

    “I made a mistake. It isn’t the X factor at all.”
    “The Delta Factor,” she said.
    “It’s all Greek to me,” I told her.
    There was something in her expression I couldn’t quite read. “Delta,” she repeated, “the phallic symbol for a woman. The triangle. The personal little geometric design that identifies the female from the male. The eternal triangle.” She looked at me long and hard. “You and your damn broads.”

    Morgan the Raider is the perpetual doppelganger of Spillane’s hero in the more acclaimed PI series with the protagonist a mirror image of Mike Hammer. Morgan’s mannerisms either intentionally or unintentionally are so similar I couldn’t help but picture Morgan as younger Mike Hammer minus the trench coat and hat. While comparisons are overwhelming, the plot deviates slightly from the PI formula enough to instil a sense of international thriller ala James Bond with national security paramount to the plight. Morgan, for his part is merely a disposable pawn in a much larger picture who quickly assumes a more prominent role courtesy of the delta factor. Teaming up with a voluptuous federal agent under the guise of a newlywed couple, Morgan enters Nuevo Cadiz and steadfastly establishes a routine as a smart and patient gambler while ‘wife’ Kim shops and generally conforms to the 60’s woman stereotype supposedly waiting on her mans every beck and call (supposedly being the operative word).

    Soon enough bodies pile up and corrupt senior officials become hip to Morgan’s presence on the island. The allusive $40 million supposedly stolen by Morgan is omnipresent as he attempts to fulfil his deed to the U.S Government with many interactions assuming a double-play with the elements converging upon one another. While the drive is a shortened sentence following his earlier apprehension at a criminal safe house, Morgan’s internal focus is perceived as the thrill of the hunt (the target, Victor Sable, an occupant of a well guarded jail as a political prisoner) and the opportunity to manipulate his federal agent handler.

    Had Spillane concentrated more on Morgan’s attempt to deliver Sable from captivity to US soil than spending time on the casino floor, gambling and conducting Hammer-like investigations, and investing time to the various sub plots surrounding the $40 million ‘The Delta Factor’ would’ve rated more highly.

    My rating: 2.5 stars – it sufficed insofar as entertaining me though the almost bipolar affect of part time PI, part time thriller often had me thinking I was reading a different kind of book. That, coupled with Morgan’s seemingly never ending lucky streak (of cash, women, befriending the right contacts too easily, etc.) put a damper on what was a solid plot and interesting cast of characters. I look forward to seeing what influence Max Allan Collins has in co-authoring the belated sequel ‘The Consummata’.

    Parting quote: “I was less than a shadow and bigger than the rules.” – Morgan the Raider

  5. says:

    I spend much of my time reading (and writing) “academic” stuff and I also love to read popular histories and think of myself as a bit or an amateur history buff, but when it comes to fiction, I like my escapism fiction. Mickey Spillane’s work is escapism, pure and simple.

    I know Mickey Spillane was not a good writer in the view of literary critics, his plots were simplistic and his characters were mostly one-dimensional and cartoonish and his views and ideas don’t fit in well with the PC 21st century, but still, I find his stories mostly entertaining. He was basically a pulp fiction writer who wrote novels after the death of the pulps.

    Although this one was not one of his best works in my view, for a variety of reasons; such as the plot was absurd, which in itself is not a problem but it went beyond the normal absurdity of a typical Spillane novel, the main character, Morgan the Raider, really wasn’t as interesting as Mike Hammer or Tiger Mann in my opinion.

    It wasn’t terrible, but from the gambling winning streak to the ending of the story, it was hard to maintain the suspension of disbelief needed to enjoy escapism fiction.

    I would suggest this one is only for true Mickey Spillane fans, if one wants to get a taste of Mickey Spillane, I the Jury or other works might be better.

  6. says:

    THE DELTA FACTOR by Mickey Spillaine - I started reading this at the same time I started reading the new James Ellroy novel (which I stalled out on, momentarily, but am planning to sit down and finish as soon as I get a chance), and what struck me was how close Spillaine’s unreconstructed man’s man adventure pulp was to what James Ellroy was up to in AMERICAN TABLOID and its sequels: with the major difference in Spillaine’s open admiration for his brutish, man-of-action hero vs. the repressed admiration in Ellroy’s work. The story itself is reasonably engaging: it’s an espionage/crime caper hybrid, with a good cast of unsavory characters for our hero to outsmart and outgun.

  7. says:

    Tuntematon Tekijä

  8. says:

    It has been well over forty years since I read this novel. I did a re-read before tackling The Consummata, due out in October from Hard Case Crime.

    Morgan The Raider had been convicted of stealing forty million in new bills the Treasury was transporting. He'd been caught up in a sweep of a cheap hotel where authorities were after a drug dealer. Hidden in the room was a stash of money from the heist, serial numbers all matching.

    Morgan had escaped and, because someone ran a red light, hitting his car and him regaining consciousness in the hospital handcuffed to a bed, he was in custody again.

    They were offering him a deal to reduce his sentence. A man, a scientist with security knowledge vital to America, was a prisoner on a Caribbean island run by a dictator. He was demanding money for the scientist and the Russians were after him also.

    His job was threefold: ascertain if the man was still alive. If he was, get him out. If that wasn't possible, kill him.

    Morgan was working all the angles. he told them if they wanted it done, he kept the forty million. They weren't anxious to agree.

    They didn't know one thing though. Morgan hadn't stolen the money, despite his conviction. He was going to find it as well as doing the job.

    He had a minder as well, a beautiful agent that was to be his new bride as they played the casinos on the island. They even went so far as to marry them.

    She had her orders also.

  9. says:

    I went back 40+ years and re-read this book because the sequel "The Consummata" was finished by Max Allan Collins and being released. It was as good as remembered (especially the sequence in the prison, when Morgan tells a young guard that the shot he heard was from the veteran guard spilling his gun from a cut-down holster).

    Morgan the Raider series - Morgan (he has no other name) is a big-time professional thief who's caught by the feds only because he was hit by a car. The feds think he's stolen $40 million, and they're going to put him away for a long time unless he goes to work for them. They're sending along a beautiful female agent to help out, naturally she'll be posing as his wife. So off they go to an unnamed Latin American country where there's big-time gambling and an impregnable prison from which Morgan has to retrieve a prisoner.

  10. says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous. I am reading a lot of pulp novels for a project I'm working on. A pulp novel, obviously, and Spillane is among the grittiest of the gritty.

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