In 1946 Chicago, Nathan Heller—president of the flourishing A-1 Detective Agency—is hired to protect racing-wire gambling chief James Ragen, who is nonetheless shot down on the streets of Chicago. Not one to take such an affront sitting down, Nate goes after the killer, but he’s in for the biggest surprise of his career. Demonstrating once again that he is the master of true-crime fiction, Max Allan Collins’ story of the birth of Las Vegas—and the dirty deeds that floated all around it—is a masterpiece of modern noir. Heller follows the trail as it leads to Hollywood and Las Vegas, specifically to Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, but when he proves Siegel’s innocence, Heller and the suave gangster wind up friends...and rivals for the love of Nate’s life. Bugsy hires Heller as security chief of the under-construction Flamingo hotel, where mob bag woman Virginia Hill is a dangerous, if glamorous, distraction. It all comes to a boil with a shocking mob assassination in Beverly Hills that sends Heller into fever-dream ride of vengeance.
About the Author
Max Allan Collins is the author of the Shamus Award-winning Nathan Heller historical thrillers; his other books include the New York Times bestseller Saving Private Ryan and the bestselling CSI series. His comics writing ranges from the graphic novel Road to Perdition, source of the Tom Hanks film, to long runs as scripter of the “Dick Tracy” comic strip and his own innovative “Ms. Tree.” Collins is also a screenwriter and a leading Indie filmmaker. He lives in Iowa with his wife, writer Barbara Collins, and their son, Nathan.