Engrossing historical detective novel! Collins uses the backdrop of 1930s prohibition Chicago to tell the story of Nate Heller who leaves the corrupt Chicago police force to become a private detective. This novel was a great mix of fact and fiction. One of Heller's first clients is Al Capone who wants Heller to stop an assassination of the Chicago Mayor Cermak. The book includes many other historical personalities such at Frank Nitti (who took over the Chicago mob after Capone was incarcerated), Eliot Ness, George Raft, Ronald "Dutch" Reagan, Sally Rand, and FDR. Part of the storyline includes the assassination attempt on FDR in Miami shortly after his election. Collins really makes these historical figures and events come to life. He also paints a very realistic picture of Chicago during that time including the prostitutes, speak-easies, political and police corruption, and the Chicago gangs. I would give this one a high recommendation.
This is the first in Collins' Nate Heller series. I'm sure I'll be reading more of these. Here's a list of the complete series:
Nate Heller Chronology
Bye Bye, Baby (2011)
Chicago Confidential (2002)
Angel in Black (2001)
Majic Man (1999)
Flying Blind (1998)
Damned in Paradise (1996)
Blood and Thunder (1995)
Carnal Hours (1994)
Stolen Away (1991)
Neon Mirage (1988)
The Million-Dollar Wound (1986)
True Crime (1984)
True Detective (1983)
Short Story Collections:
Kisses of Death (2001)
Dying in the Post-War World (1991)
Cop-turned-p.i. Nate Heller in Prohibition Era Chicago.
Nate Heller is a cop trying to stay straight in one of the most corrupt places imaginable: Prohibition Chicago. When he won't sell out, he's forced to quit the force and become a private investigator. His first client is Al Capone. His best friend is Eliot Ness. His most important order of business is staying alive.
Hard-boiled enough to break a tooth on...keeps the pages turning.
I thoroughly enjoyed Collins' 'disaster series,' but this was even better.
If you like mysteries set in the 1930 gangster era, with a semi-noir detective as the protagonist, then you'll love this series. Thank God there are so many novels in it.