Saturday, May 18, 2013

Angel In Black by Max Allan Collins (A Nathan Heller Novel)

All Nathan Heller wants to do is get some publicity for the new Los Angeles branch of his A-1 Detective Agency and then get on with his honeymoon. Instead the reporter he is with stumbles over a body. This is not any murder case. The woman's body has been cut in half and carefully arranged. Thus begins the most disturbing Nathan Heller novel to date. The body that they have discovered is none other than the Black Dahlia. This is one of the most sensational murders in the history of Los Angeles. Before it is all over they will encounter the heavily corrupted police force, mobsters, thieves, and the most sadistic killer that Heller has ever had to face. All the while he is helping to solve the case he keeps one important piece of information to himself: he knew the victim. Along the way Heller rubs shoulders with old friends and makes some new enemies.

After the last two rather disappointing novels it feels like the old Heller is back. The story doesn't feel stretched and belabored like the previous two. The hardest part of this book is the discussion of the actual slaying. The Black Dahlia case was a horrendous murder. Hearing details about the sadistic killing is can be just a little unsettling. It's a great book and an excellent chapter in the Nathan Heller saga.

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