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Flying Blind (Nathan Heller #10)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  249 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
In 1935, Nate Heller is hired to escort Amelia Earhart on a speaking tour due to numerous cut-and-paste death threats against her life. Heller suspects the threats are a stunt by Earhart's publicity-hungry husband, and the detective’s growing closeness to the bisexual aviatrix leads to a steamy affair. Two years later, when Earhart embarks on her flight around the world—an ...more
Audio CD, Abridged
Published April 10th 2012 by Brilliance Audio (first published August 1st 1998)
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Hugh McBride
Apr 21, 2013 Hugh McBride rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 10th entry in Max Allan Collins's "Nathan Heller" series, FLYING BLIND focuses on Heller's efforts to protect, then find, famed aviator Amelia Earhart. Consistent with previous Heller novels, FLYING BLIND is built on a foundation of meticulous research, with Heller interacting with both actual historical figures and the occasional composite or fictionalized ones. As Collins has also made a habit of doing in the Heller series, FLYING BLIND also features an alternative theory (extrapolated fro ...more
Victor Carson
I read this novel about Amelia Earhart because I am interested in her disappearance and because I like the detective novels of Max Collins. I have read his novel True Detective (Nate Heller) and a collection of his short stories, Chicago Lightning. All of the Nate Heller series were offered recently by Amazon as Kindle books, at very reasonable prices. I like the style and swagger of Detective Nate Heller but moreover I appreciate Collins' attention to the historical detail of the 1930s. I was v ...more
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Diane Rhodes
My seat mate questioned my choice of reading material on my flight, but I wanted to continue exploring this theory of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart..This is the first book that I have read in the Nate Heller series and the first book from this author. I am not sure how big a fan I am of Nate Heller, but I am interested enough to read at least one other book in the series. I have always been fascinated with the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, and I enjoyed all of the historical references ...more
Jun 21, 2016 roark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back when everything was tied in with Chicago mobsters in the 20's, the protagonist's presence woven into actual historic events was plausible. He was an ex-cop turned PI, after all. But in this book, and in the later novels in the series, his presence is somewhat contrived. This is easy to get past, though, because all of the Max Heller series goes beyond the headlines of the day (which is what we are familiar with) and delve into the day-to-day that allows you to see how these major events dev ...more
I will try to avoid any spoilers by not discussing much of the plot.

Collins takes a long run to get into this story, but his way of telling a yarn keeps it interesting. Knowing little about Amelia Earhart in advance, I found myself captivated by the story of her life: how she came to fly; how her husband manipulated her life; and, how the government eventually persuaded her to take a risky flight.

Heller weaves in and out of A.E.'s life and is smitten with her enough that he investigates her disa
David Williams
Once again Nathan Heller is on the case. This time his job is to protect Amelia Earhart from anonymous threats that she has received. Of course that is just the tip of the iceberg. Naturally Heller becomes romantically entangled with the famous aviatrix. Later Heller becomes involved with an attempt to uncover the sinister government plot behind Earhart's mission. Finally he goes undercover in Saipan to try and verify rumours that two American pilots are being held as prisoner by the Japanese.

Sep 11, 2013 Marley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my second Mate Heller book. (I think I need to start reading them in order). I loved Stolen Away, but Flying Blind is tamer (at least until Part 2) and more of a love story. Well researched, Collins has constructed great portraits of Amelia Earhart (and her failings in a loving way) Paul Mantz, Fred Noonan, and the despicable GP Putnam. With husbands like him, who needs an enemy? I wish he'd done more than mention Gene Vidal, though. I've been fascinated by Amelila since I was a kid and ...more
Lansing Public Library
In the 1930’s Amelia Earhart’s husband hired private investigator Nathan Heller to be her bodyguard and to determine if she was having an affair. She was!
With Heller! Now it’s 1970 and semi-retired Heller has been asked to help solve the mystery of her disappearance. For Heller, this was the chance to finally learn what happened to the woman he once loved.

The reading group rated this book a 3.

Because of the subject matter I thought this book would be a great discussion.Some in the group didn’t
This being my third Collins book, there's something about these that don't feel that strong. It felt like it took a long time to get to the real mystery as the book emphasizes Nate and Amelia's relationship, all leading up to the mystery of Amelia Earheart's disappearance. The story that Collins discusses of Amelia being a spy and the possibly lived on Saipan has a lot of evidence and when Nate attempts a rescue it's a great escape novel. It just felt like there were a lot of flying elements (pu ...more
Mary Ellen Gravlin
Great book for fans of Amelia Earhart!

This book takes an unconventional look at the secret life of Amelia and what may have happened to her...all those years ago.
Jun 08, 2011 james rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one in the series that the author has written about a fictional detective in Chicago in the 1930s. He is constantly interacting with historical persons. In this book, the focus of attention is Amelia Earhart. It's not one of Max Collins' best but still pretty good. He is appointed to be a bodyguard for Miss Earhart and later tries to find her. In the story, her last flight was in a spy plane that was captured by the Japanese. Her navigator was executed in prison on Saipan but Max tries t ...more
Yosef Shapiro
This book provides a plausible explanation of what happened to Amelia Earhart .
Dec 14, 2013 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I decided to reas this book over Labor Day Weekend. I boarded a plane with it in my hands and the captain cocked his eyebrow at me when he saw the book. I guess reading about Amelia Earhart while flying the friendly skies could be considered weird. This book was hard to put down once I started it. It was a fantastic book weaving historical facts into a plot that solves the mystery about what happened to her plane. I will be looking into other Max Allan Collins books to read.

Court C
Jun 21, 2014 Court C rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
Nate takes on one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century, the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. I truly enjoy Collins style and the depth a character he was able to bring to Earhart in this novel. While not my favorite in the series it was still captivating and intriguing. The only criticism I have of this book is the very last few pages when it seems as though he was just trying to bring the book to a quick end as if he was almost board with the story.
The Earhart stuff was fairly interesting - her strengths and limitations as a pilot, and how much of a creep her exploitive husband GP Putnam was. As usual, some of the factual characters - Irving and Electa Johnson and Sterling Hayden steal the show.

Collins writes good descriptive material no matter where or with whom Heller is spending his time. But in this book, the "romance" between Heller and Earhart was utterly unbelievable and more than annoying.
Nov 11, 2013 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone looking at the books I have read over the last year will know I am already a big fan of Max Allan Collins and the Nate Heller series. This is no exception. It is a fictional account of Amelia Earhart's flying and disappearance. I had never heard the theory that Collins took, and I won't comment on it here and spoil it for others. Needless to say, I found the book to be very interesting and very entertaining.
Feb 10, 2013 Tiger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Flying Blind sweeps the reader back to the 1930's when Amelia Earhart was flying high (excuse the pun), then carries you along on a whirlwind fictional account of what really happened to the aviatrix.
I almost stopped reading after a couple of chapters, but am so glad I didn't. Collins spins a terrific yarn with characters you'll be sure really walked and talked just as he describes.
Neilie J
I like tough guy Nathan Heller but it is funny how he always ends up mixed up with the world's most famous people. This time he's in Amelia Earhardt's inner circle. A lot of research obviously went into this book and it poses some interesting "what ifs". Still, it's somehow less compelling than a straightforward detective story.
I really liked this book...I found it to be very interesting. What would've happened, say, if what was said was true? It would've changed the face of WWII and things would've been VASTLY different. I recommend it, just on sheer 'what if?' factor alone....
Bcoghill Coghill
I liked, even though Nate often did not behave as I expect Nate to behave. Perhaps it was just me. Perhaps it was Max Allan. I don't know.
Jul 25, 2012 Paulette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a good easy read, entertaining and another look at what happened to Amelia.
Ming Siu
Oct 24, 2012 Ming Siu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating theory on what "really" happened in the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.
Maurice J
Aug 16, 2012 Maurice J rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
See my review of Bye, Bye, Baby, by Max Allen Collins.
Jun 10, 2012 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. So good I almost believe it.
Paul Goble
Paul Goble rated it really liked it
Jul 30, 2016
Nancy marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2016
Martin marked it as to-read
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Ralph Gaeto
Ralph Gaeto rated it it was amazing
Jul 25, 2016
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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)
  • Blood and Thunder (Nathan Heller, #8)
  • Damned in Paradise (Nathan Heller, #9)
  • Majic Man (Nathan Heller, #11)
  • Angel in Black (Nathan Heller, #12)

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