Murder by the Numbers (Eliot Ness Series #4)

Murder by the Numbers (Eliot Ness Series #4)

5.0 2
by Max Allan Collins
     
 

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The legendary real-life lawman Eliot Ness is deservedly famous through the TV series and film The Untouchables, as the scourge of criminals in 1930s Chicago. Less well-known are his exploits in Cleveland, where he continued his crime-busting career. In Murder by the Numbers Max Allan Collins has combined fact and fiction to capture the excitement of Ness's law… See more details below

Overview

The legendary real-life lawman Eliot Ness is deservedly famous through the TV series and film The Untouchables, as the scourge of criminals in 1930s Chicago. Less well-known are his exploits in Cleveland, where he continued his crime-busting career. In Murder by the Numbers Max Allan Collins has combined fact and fiction to capture the excitement of Ness's law enforcement triumphs in the Ohio city.

It is 1938, and Cleveland is threatened by a racially volatile gang war. The Mafia is moving in on the black mobsters who rule the Bucket of Blood, the notorious slum made famous by Chester Himes.
The conflict is more than just villains fighting over turf. The black gangsters, who have had a lock on the city's numbers racket, have depended more on political connections and on the dreams they sold than on violence. It is the invaders who are bringing murder and mayhem in their wake.
As Director of Public Safety, Ness's job is not only to put a lid on crime itself. He must tread with extreme care in order to forestall violent war between the rival mobsters, a war that could escalate into an explosion between Cleveland's large black population and the almost entirely white police force and pols who rule the industrial city.
The balance is a delicate one and will require an individual both diplomatic and courageous. Collins realistically shows Ness to be that individual in this action-packed story rich with period flavor.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The fourth Eliot Ness novel from the prolific Collins ( Bullet Proof ), who also pens the Dick Tracy comic strip, is action-packed but essentially lifeless (despite the fact that many of the characters are actual figures). Former Untouchable Ness (who sent Al Capone to prison on tax evasion charges) has moved from Chicago to Cleveland, where he is out to break up the Mayfield Road mob, which five years earlier, in 1933, eliminated black numbers king Rufus Murphy. Forging an uneasy alliance with black detective Toussaint Johnson, and counting on the smoldering resentment of the black community, Ness assembles 70 witnesses and goes to the grand jury. Indictments follow for two Mayfield kingpins, Salvatore Lombardi and the sadistic Angelo Scalise. With a tip of the hat to Cleveland's Depression-era black crime novelist Chester Himes (whom he depicts working at the city's Karamu Theater), Collins effectively evokes the era, but his characters--the square-jawed, uncompromising Ness and slimy, sinister gangsters--remain cartoonish. (Mar.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781612320342
Publisher:
Speaking Volumes, LLC
Publication date:
01/28/2011
Series:
Eliot Ness Series
Pages:
210
Sales rank:
1,383,271
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.48(d)

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