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Blood and Thunder (Nathan Heller, #8)
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Blood and Thunder (Nathan Heller #8)

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  222 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
The place is Louisiana. The time is 1935. Huey Long, the Kingfish, former governor, current U.S. senator, and absolute dictator of this sweet Southern state, is riding high. He has become the most potent challenger to the Presidency, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt has good reason to fear the next election. Nathan Heller, president (and everything else) of the A-1 Detective ...more
Paperback, 367 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Signet (first published August 1st 1995)
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Dec 05, 2008 Eric_W rated it liked it
Collins has created a series of mysteries that take place in the midst of real historical events. He does considerable historical research and then places his character, Nate Heller, a Chicago-based private detective, as a composite or semi-fictional participant. Writing a novel around real events can be tricky and, for me, always problematic because I then get a compulsion to read more about what actually occurred. Fortunately, the good historical novelists will always provide an epilogue or fo ...more
Jul 03, 2013 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent Nate Heller historical mystery. I wouldn't say I was longing to read a novel about the death of Huey Long, but Collins brings this larger-than-life character to life and makes me actually mourn the crooked bastard. Quite a trick.

It should be noted that this Kindle version (published by Amazon itself) is sorely in need of a good proofreader. I don't know if a physical copy of the book was scanned and OCRed to created the e-book version, but it sure looks that way. The book is fu
Feb 16, 2014 Art rated it liked it
Another good, quick read in the Nate Heller series. Clearly Collins had some characters and cases he wanted to spend some time with so we continue the travel back in time in the series. Just as Heller was getting past his WWII experiences and moving into the new Mob and the West Coast, we have now dropped back several years to the mid 1930s to encounter first Charles Lindberg and now Huey Long. It's a little off-putting if you want to see character development in Heller. But some things are cons ...more
Jan 28, 2015 Ben rated it really liked it
I have long been a fan of Max Allen Collins' Historical detective novels featuring the hero P. I. Nate Heller.
This one published about 1996, Was one that I missed until now.
It is another enjoyable crime detective novel, this one in which Heller is hired as a special bodyguard by the famous and notorious Louisana politician Huey " Kingfish" Long. Long fears that there is a plot against his life and hires Heller because has a reputation of cool- headend ness and discretion that would help in gett
Neilie J
Sep 13, 2013 Neilie J rated it liked it
Having read All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren, this was an interesting speculative slant on the person and political career of Huey "Kingfish" Long. Nathan Heller is as usual, a great, world weary, smart ass foil to this famous personality and the story as a whole is highly readable. Heller's ability to seduce every dame he sees kinda makes me roll my eyes, but otherwise I like him a lot.
Court C
Feb 20, 2014 Court C rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
Nate Heller again finds himself in the midsts of a mid 20th century historical event. Collins brings to life a looking glass view into a major crime with true life people places and events. As Heller interacts with the Kingfish himself he discovers there is as much corruption and greed in "loosianna" as there is in mob controlled Chicago. From Standard oil, to the mob to his most trusted advisors it seems as if Long can trust no-one but a private detective that walks a very fine ethical line. An ...more
Dec 22, 2013 HBalikov rated it really liked it
As much or more than his other Nate Heller books, Blood and Thunder, showcases the sheer strength of Collins' approach to a historical incident. Few of us living (not me, thank you) go back far enough to remember Huey Long. His brand of populism, in a country devastated by economic depression, could have brought a con-artist into the White House.

Collins gives us Nate Heller on the scene as Huey's bodyguard to report what was going on in those days leading up to Long's death on the floor of the L
David Williams
Nate Heller takes on another bodyguard job. This time he works for Huey P. Long. Heller is not the best guard out there. In seven novels he loses three clients to an assassin. He is good at locating the hidden truth though. This novel about the death of Louisiana's most colorful politician is a lot of fun. Collins captures the feel of the period like few writers. I lived in Baton Rouge as a kid and I've taken many trips to see the holes in the marble walls where Long's bodyguards killed Weiss. M ...more
Alex Bugaeff
Nov 15, 2014 Alex Bugaeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More of Collins' great weaving of mystery with historical events and characters.
Aug 06, 2011 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The backdrop is Huey Long's Louisiana of 1935 as P.I. Nathan Heller is charged to protect the Kingfish. Collins weaves historical setting and facts into a tight story that entertains. A classic P.I. cut from the cloth of the moral loner, Heller does all he can to unravel the corruption surrounding the Louisiana senator and ex-governor. Based on thorough research and a nice explanation of the facts in the notes, the novel is great marriage of the speculative and the noir.
Aug 06, 2013 Bruce rated it it was amazing
I have been reading all the Nathan Heller books, in sequence, and this one, #8, is one of my favorite. It reminded me of the original trilogy which were also my favorites. The story is about the assassination of Huey Long. It had a good mix of history, conspiracy theory, mystery and just plain fun. A very enjoyable read. I would highly recommend it to all who like the genre, and definitely to those who like the Nathan Heller series.
As with other Nate Hellar books, Collins again has done exhaustive historical research and created a very real image of not only Huey Long but also 30's Louisiana politics and also an alternate theory to an infamous crime.
Aug 24, 2013 Luci rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What you see is what you get with the Nate Heller books. Snappy dialogue that isn't contrived, a solid, historically based plot and entertaining wise guy genre fiction. No suprises here but a well written mystery that is fun.
Oct 17, 2013 Glen rated it liked it
Nathan Heller is involved with the assassination of Huey Long, the corrupt Louisiana politician. Heller never seems to have much luck as a bodyguard.
Dec 07, 2013 Ron rated it liked it
Beyond being a enjoyable book to read, Collins writing skill re-introduces interesting crime history that we have mostly forgotten about.
Another well written Nathan Heller novel. I love the historical accuracy contained in the books of this series.
Sharon Holford
Sep 02, 2012 Sharon Holford rated it it was amazing

Louisiana and Huey Long. Mafia and murder. American dictator.
Maurice J
Aug 16, 2012 Maurice J rated it it was amazing
See my review of Bye, Bye, Baby, by Max Allen Collins.
Thomas D Sinex
Jul 20, 2012 Thomas D Sinex rated it liked it
Good summer read...
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Received the Shamus Award, "The Eye" (Lifetime achievment award) in 2006.

He has also published under the name Patrick Culhane. He and his wife, Barbara Collins, have written several books together. Some of them are published under the name Barbara Allan.

Book Awards
Shamus Awards Best Novel winner (1984) : True Detective
Shamus Awards Best Novel winner (1992) : Stolen Away
Shamus Awards Best Novel nom
More about Max Allan Collins...

Other Books in the Series

Nathan Heller (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • True Detective (Nathan Heller, #1)
  • True Crime (Nathan Heller, #2)
  • The Million Dollar Wound (Nathan Heller, #3)
  • Neon Mirage (Nathan Heller, #4)
  • Stolen Away (Nathan Heller, #6)
  • Carnal Hours (Nathan Heller, #7)
  • Damned in Paradise (Nathan Heller, #9)
  • Flying Blind (Nathan Heller #10)
  • Majic Man (Nathan Heller, #11)
  • Angel in Black (Nathan Heller, #12)

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