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Ask Not (Nathan Heller #18)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  146 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Chicago, September 1964. Beatlemania sweeps the nation, the Vietnam War looms, and the Warren Commission prepares to blame a "lone-nut" assassin for the killing of President John F. Kennedy. But as the post-Camelot era begins, a suspicious outbreak of suicides, accidental deaths, and outright murders decimates assassination witnesses. When Nathan Heller and his son are nea ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published October 22nd 2013 by Forge Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Richard Derus
New Review! ASK NOT: A Nathan Heller Thriller is Max Allan Collins' usual top-notch thriller-writing. Third in his JFK trilogy, it's got everything: Murders, mobsters, CIA honchos, and the Beatles in Chicago. Exciting reading even if you don't remember where you were on That Awful Day.

My 4.5-star review is at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud. C'mon, what's a simple mouse-click between friends?
Mark Drew
Oct 22, 2013 Mark Drew rated it liked it
The Nathan Heller series is a work of historical fiction genius and M.A.C. writes some of the best Hard Boiled literature around of any era. Period.

This installment finishes Collin's JFK trilogy and while its inter-working of fiction and fact is seamless as usual this is also the most static of all the Heller books. Nate spends most of the book as a secondary observer instead of the active participant that he usually is.

However, there is this issue that has begun to drive me crazy. It is the end
Oct 24, 2013 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of the Heller novels for many years now. Mr. Collins is now getting into territory I lived in. I remember the Kennedy assassination, seeing Ruby shoot Oswald on live TV, and a couple of years later the Beatles arriving on our shores.

ASK NOT concludes the author's JFK trilogy and begins with Heller and his son, Sam, nearly getting run down coming out of a Beatles concert. Heller is working for them and arranges a meet(I'm the same age as Sam at that time and would have loved to be
May 27, 2016 Gram rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The final part of Max Allan Collins' "JFK trilogy" sees private eye Nate Heller aid a journalist -Flo Kilgore - a fictionalised version of journalist & TV personality Dorothy Kilgallen - uncover some unsettling witness stories about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas on November 22nd 1963. Most of the action takes place the year after the Dallas assassination and the killing of the alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, by Dallas nightclub owner, Jack Ruby. Even in ...more
Lisa A. Carlson
Nov 17, 2013 Lisa A. Carlson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa A. by: found at the library
Shelves: fiction
Interesting premise and cover shot as we are approaching the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination ; but the writing never allowed me to become vested. Too disjointed and difficult to follow. I found myself re-reading passages. Gave up after the first 50 pages.
Lorraine Montgomery
Ask Not by Max Allan Collins, deals with the mystery of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Collins' fictional detective Nathan Heller helps journalist/ game show panelist, Flo Kilgore (rather loosely based on Dorothy Kilgallen) track down witnesses to the assassination of President Kennedy, witnesses who offer conflicting information to that which is being gathered by the Warren Commission. Some witnesses were already dead less than a year after the shooting; some die shortly afte ...more
Gloria Feit
May 22, 2014 Gloria Feit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this final volume in the JFK assassination trilogy, Nat Heller is caught up in investigating events in Dallas that November 22nd, drawn into the story behind the murder of the President, when he finds out about a series of suicides and suspicious deaths surrounding the case of Billy Sol Estes, who was famously convicted of fraud. Suddenly he sees a parallel, as witnesses to the event in Dallas’ Dealey Plaza also seem to disappear by suicide, “accidental” death or murder.

“Ask Not” follows the
Sherri Couey
Mar 31, 2015 Sherri Couey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
"Ask Not" is my first Max Allan Collins novel. It is not going to be the last. I listened to it via Recorded Books, Inc. Mr. Collins created a story that is filled with facts versus theories intertwined with conspiracy.

As a young girl, I lived through the Kennedy years and was in 7th grade when President Kennedy was assassinated. November 22, 1963 began non-stop television viewing. I watched Walter Cronkite cry when reporting the President's death. Two days later saw Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey O
This is a book that focuses on the historical history, now evident, of the assassination of JFK. The book was widely researched for accuracy, by the author Max Collins. It focuses on a Private Investigator, Nate Heller, and his connections, research, interviews etc. of mob members,cubans, Jack ruby etc. The complexity of the assassination was intricate and far spread.Over the years, most of those who knew things and spoke of them have been mysteriously done away with. Lyndon Johnson was a key pl ...more
Apr 19, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kind of a surprise. This is a factual-as-possible novel about the conspiracy theory version of the Kennedy assassination. I learned a lot, and found a new series of books to start reading. It isn't clear on the cover, but this is the third book of a trilogy dealing with the assassination. The other two are Bye Bye Baby, which is about Marilyn Monroe's death, and Target Lancer which is the assassination itself. Ask Not is about the mysterious deaths of many of the witnesses who did not agree with ...more
Nov 13, 2013 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In his senior years Nate gets involved in the JFK assassination. Max does enormous research and makes a believable case for a conspiracy of Mafia/Cuban/CIA operatives including a lot of evidence for all the suspicious deaths of witnesses. Max tells of the parts of the book that do not exactly follow the facts. I didn't know that Dorothy Kilgallen was so involved. Be careful - this book might change your mind!
Jan 31, 2014 Metagion rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those "where were you in 1963?" kind of stories as we follow Private Eye Nathan (Nate) Heller soon after the assassination of JFK, and the circumstances that lead up to one of history's most shocking events. Really, REALLY good book, but it's also one of those "you-had-to-have-been-there" kind of things ( and you love historical fiction). Great for the "what if" crowds as well.
Robert James
Nov 21, 2013 Robert James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book a lot better than the previous Heller book "Target Lancer". Most of us of a certain age have heard all of the conspiracy theories at one time but Collins puts his own spin on them. The story moves at a good pace and Collins ties it up in a nice bow in the end. You wonder how much more Heller has in the tank but it looks like this guy is kin to the Energizer Bunny.
Dec 15, 2013 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a real page turner and an interesting one at that. Well written and researched it adds a new spin on the JFK murder investigation.Though most of these speculations about that Deadly Day in Dallas have been well written about this book seems to pull them all together in suspense packed novel. A must Read !
This last of the "JFK Trilogy" takes the best of the "conspiracy theories" and weaves Nate Heller into the mix in an entertaining way. Has definitely re-awakened my interest in the crime and taking a look at some of Collins source material for his excellent and through research.
Ken Schloman
Dec 27, 2013 Ken Schloman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When combined with the previous novel, Target Lancer" ,Collins has created a story line that will give JFK conspiracy theorists all they could want. As with all the Nate Heller novels, Collins accurately reflects the society of the time frame covered in the novels. First rate.
David Marshall
It's not a historical book discussing the JFK conspiracy theories and it;s not a very good PI novel because it keeps stopping to fit the action into the real world conspiracy theories.
Good follow-up to Target Lancer, investigating the death of JFK in a world where the Oliver Stone conspiracy occurred. Longer review here:
Dec 20, 2013 Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this installment more the second time around and all three of the Kennedy Assassination theory novels kept my interest. I was 11 years old when the murder occurred and started our country's slide towards the Kleptocracy it is today. My opinion.
John Pehle
Jul 14, 2016 John Pehle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who killed JFK? I'll never tell because that is dangerous, both in this novel and in real life. Collins again weaves a hard-hitting detective story into the tapestry that is the JFK conspiracy canon. Well done.
Bob Ro
Nov 18, 2013 Bob Ro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one takes a bit of time getting started, as if Collins was not sure where he wanted to take it. But once it gets rolling, it is another great Nate Heller novel.
Jun 22, 2014 Jane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I struggled through this book severely. I had a hard keeping track of some many different directions this was going. Not sure I'll read another of his writings.
Michael Brown
last of the assassination trilogy with more true background woven very well into a fictional tale.
Eric Aubin
Aug 01, 2015 Eric Aubin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked it. Great plot. Believable characters; will read more from this writer.
Al Stoess
Mar 15, 2014 Al Stoess rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Collins fans. Conspiracy theorists.
Typical Collins far. Great if you believe in the conspiracy theory of Kennedy's death.
Very good. Practically anything I saw will be a spoiler.
Christopher rated it liked it
Nov 19, 2013
Vicky rated it it was ok
May 12, 2015
Phoebe rated it it was ok
Apr 03, 2014
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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, #5)
  • Carnal Hours (Nathan Heller, #6)
  • Blood and Thunder (Nathan Heller, #8)
  • Damned in Paradise (Nathan Heller, #9)
  • Flying Blind (Nathan Heller #10)
  • Majic Man (Nathan Heller, #11)

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