A near-fine first edition, in the original binding. In good, unclipped dust jacket, with wear to the edges, chipping to the top and bottom of the spine, and a chip missing from the bottom of the back cover.
A Mike Hammer story.
Mikke is found in the gutter - an alcoholic on the border of losing his mind. It's taken him seven years to work himself into that state: seven years of feeling guilty for believing he caused the death of Velda, the girl he loved. Velda worked with Mike in his New York office, and it was Mike who sent her on the seemingly routine job of protecting a woman who was wearing all her jewels to a party. Velda went to the party - and was never seen again. The lady with the jewels was murdered, the jewellery stolen. The lady with the jewels was murdered, her jewellery stolen. And Mike Hammer was left with a conscience that drove him to leave his office and take to the bottle.
Then from a dying man Mike gets the shock that brings him back to life after seven years: Velda might still be alive, but before he can be sure Mike must find and destroy a master killer called the Dragon.