Caught between the Kefauver Organized Crime investigation and his reluctant ties to the mafia, Chicago P.I. Nate Heller keeps his head down—until an honest cop and a lovely drug addict are murdered, and he decides it’s time for some rough justice.
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Collins is a master story teller
In this, the fourteenth volume of the Memoirs of Nathan Heller, Hard-boiled P.I, extrordinaire returns to his roots: Chicago and the Mob, the Outfit, The Mafia, whatever you want to call it. No one knows his way around, in, and out of it, at least in print, like Collins. Heller, friend of the late Frank Nitti, is now up to 1950, historically, and his tightrope act of playing an independent in a world run by gangsters and gangbusters is becoming more and more precarious. Especially when his best friend, Bill Drury, (a real historical figure who was murdered)who is running a local one man crusade to root out the corruption in Chicago, is finally joined on a national scale by Senator Estes Kefauver and his televised organized crime hearings. Among the celebrated historical figures involved this time are Frank Sinatra, Sam Giancana, Jack Ruby, and Senator Joe McCarthy. If you grew up anywhere near Chicago you will particularly appreciate memories of The Loop, Riverview (The World's Largest Amusement Park), Lake Shore Drive, Belmont Harbor and lots more that Collins evokes with a brilliant sense of remarkably accurate nostalgia. The action, sex, violence, and mystery are handled with the sure hand of this veteran crime fiction writer. But the reveals are terrific too. It's not just the end of the book I can't tell you about--hell just the end of the first chapter is a total shocker.