Monday, July 29, 2013

The Nathan Heller books by Max Allan Collins

I just wanted to do a quick post about the Nathan Heller books by Max Allan Collins. I discovered these books last year. Amazon had a sale on one of the books. At $1.99 for the Kindle book I took a chance. I fell in love with Nathan Heller right away. When I saw more books on sale I snapped those up as well. I have now read through the entire series. I read several of the books last year, but gladly re-read them this year. They very enjoyable. Heller is a classic hardboiled detective. He has the mouth, the rules don't always matter to him. Despite what he claims though Heller is a very moral figure. His armor may be blemished, but he is still a knight who fights to right wrongs. Heller lives in a corrupt world. While he realizes it he manages to avoid getting himself dirtier than he has to. He always manages to interact with organized crime without becoming part of it.

All of the Heller cases involve famous crime stories. The characters that Heller encounters are quite a gallery. Elliot Ness, Al Capone, Mayor Cermak, Frank Nitti, Charles Lindbergh, Bobby Kennedy, and so many more. He also has a tendency to get involved with a lot of famous women. He may be the person other than Jack Kennedy who bedded both Jayne Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe. Of course he outdid even JFK in t hat regard. After all, Kennedy never bedded Amelia Earhart.

As a kid I discovered classic Hollywood films like The Maltese Falcon. These films grabbed the imagination of a 13 year old boy. I have never lost that fascination. At times my interest waned. After all, good hardboiled fiction is very hard to write and not always easy to find. Discovering the Heller novels last year rekindled my interest in the genre. I recently celebrated my 39th birthday and love reading as much as I did as a kid. Authors like Max Allan Collins routinely remind me of why I love to read so much. If I have a choice between watching a movie or reading a good book, the movie will just have to wait. So thanks Max for all of the great books. Now it's time to check out your other series. Keep up the great work.

To read my reviews of the Heller books check out these links:

1. True Detective (Assassination attempt on Frank Nitti, the killing of Mayor Cermak)
2. True Crime (Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, Barker Gang)
3. Million Dollar Wound (Guadalcanal, the Mob tries to take over Hollywood)
4. Neon Mirage (Bugsy Siegel)
5. Stolen Away (Lindbergh kidnapping)
6. Carnal Hours (Oakes murder)
7. Blood and Thunder (Huey Long)
8. Damned in Paradise (Clarence Darrow)
9. Flying Blind (Amelia Earhart)
10. Majic Man (Roswell)
11. Angel in Black (Black Dahlia case)
12. Chicago Confidential (Crime commission, Frank Sinatra, Joe McCarthy)
13. Bye Bye Baby (Marilyn Monroe)
14 Target Lancer (JFK Assassination)

Short Stories Collections:

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