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Nemesis: The Final Case of Eliot Ness A Novel
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Nemesis: The Final Case of Eliot Ness A Novel (Nemesis: The Eliot Ness Mysteries #1)

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3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  212 ratings  ·  37 reviews
In his bestselling legal thrillers, William Bernhardt has explored the dark side of contemporary politics, power, and the law. Now Bernhardt turns back the clock to the city of Cleveland, Ohio, in the fall of 1935. Based on true events and new discoveries about Eliot Ness, Nemesis is a brilliantly told story featuring this legendary lawman’s fateful duel with a terrifyingl ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published January 13th 2009 by Ballantine Books (first published December 24th 2008)
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Teechbiz
Honestly, before I read the book I knew very little about Eliot Ness except for he had something to do with the Untouchables. Years ago I remember hearing something about the Torso Murders. Now that I've read this book I feel that the case was solved but it was covered up for political expediency. I realize this was fiction, but you can tell the author did his homework. While I was reading I would google various things about Ness and the murders. Wow! Worth reading
Mmmhhmm
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Dkeslin
Based on true fact, Eliot Ness of Al Capone fame, tracks the first serial killer in Cleveland in the fall of 1935. A chilling, fast rread full of excitement.
Rick Ludwig
I'm a Bill Bernhardt fan, as anyone who has read my previous reviews of his Ben Kincaid series can tell you. But this book is a special kind of jewel. It stands alone and draws you into to a story that is mostly or almost totally real, depending on how you want to take it. Like Eliot Ness, the book does its job with dedication and skill, and cares little about where the trail will ultimately lead. Ness is drawn as a persistent, but flawed character who is only truly alive when he is stretching a ...more
Sherry
Somewhat of a cross between historical fiction and fact, Nemesis is based upon actual events from the 30's and information that came to light years later surrounding a case that Eliot Ness was involved with in the years that followed his Chicago success in putting away Al Capone.

The story was interesting and intriguing and was a fairly easy read. Most interesting to me were the little historical tidbits, such as Ness working so hard to install traffic signals that reduced the death rate from 400
...more
Mary
I was really disappointed in this book. After all, lots of things (for me) to like: Depression setting, in Cleveland, no less, a serial killer, and a wonderful, if flawed, hero.
So what's wrong here? I've never read Bernhardt, but he manages to make the business of serial killing, well, boring.
Except for Eliot Ness's speeches to the press, and the public, the dialog is uninspired. And the suspected murderer? Just a stick figure, not the bogey-man who's been suspected of also perping the Black Dah
...more
Ice
Dec 27, 2012 Ice rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
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Mary
Cleveland, Ohio, in the fall of 1935. Based on true events and new discoveries about Eliot Ness, Nemesis features the legendary lawman’s fateful duel with a terrifyingly new kind of criminal: America’s first serial killer. One by one, bodies are found, each one decapitated and uniquely dissected with a doctor’s skill and a madman’s bent. The police are baffled, the population is terrorized, and newspaper headlines blare about the so-called “Torso Killer.”

From the first primitive use of forensic
...more
Ann
Bleeh. I saw this author on "Jeopary!", and when I looked him up, this 'inspired by true events' novel sounded like a true crime guilty pleasure. However, the writing level of this 'New York Times' best seller was sub-par, in my book!
Rachel
A historically based Depression-era serial killer mystery. I actually liked this a little more than I thought I would--it seemed well researched, the gruesome parts were few & far between and easily skipped over, and the author portrayed the difficulty of doing good in a highly public political office well--I got frustrated for the main character, frustrated AT him, and at the same time understood where he was coming from.

That said. ...it was ok. The writing was unnoticeable (could be a vir
...more
William Blake
Certainly good enough to transcend my initial mental picture of Ness (looking very much like Kevin Costner) as the Capone-busting Untouchable. It's an unquestionably entertaining read, though not a very well-written one. But one does not pick up a thriller to spend time enthralled at the linguistically lovely turns of phrase . . . one picks them up for the gory thrills, and this book about a famous crimefighter having to reconsider the customary methodology for catching a murderer in the light o ...more
Monica
I really liked this book! Very much. It combines some fact with a lot of fiction and the result is ideal crime fiction from the 1930s. I really only put this book down because life was messing up my reading time. I went in knowing really nothing about Eliot Ness, nor anything about the murders that took place in Cleveland. Now i want to know more.

The book moves fast, short chapters, paragraphs that don't mince words.

The ending was a bit unsatisfactory but i can see why Bernhardt concluded the
...more
Liz
Jun 04, 2009 Liz rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
I haven't read a Wm Bernhardt book in several years, but the subtitle on the book jacket caught my attention: The Final Case of Eliot Ness. This is a fictionalized account of Ness' career in Cleveland and the serial killer who stalked the streets. I now find his dialogue style stilted and unbelievable. Perhaps if I reread his earlier books, I would feel the same. So, read it if you'd like a Ness story (post-Untouchables). I won't tell how it ends, though.
J. Ewbank
Maybe due to the topic and the parameters forced upon the topic made this book for me a little less desirable that some others by this author. By taking a person in history and trying to weave matters around his life make it difficult. I did like the book but thought it could have been better in some weay.

J. Robert Ewbank author "Wesley's Wars" and "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the Isms"
Adam
While definitely entertaining and fairly faithful to the what I know of the actual murders, Nemesis, falls just a little short of being a truly good novel. A subject such as this, to me, deserves to be treated in a dark, dark fashion, not like a Patricia Cornwell novel, which is what this felt like, to me. As in many cases, fiction cannot live up to reality, and that remains the case here.
Susan
Feb 04, 2009 Susan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: historical fiction - thriller
i enjoyed this book and the writer's style. The ending is a little disjointed, however. The one thing that I felt throughout the book was frustration. I was frustrated for Ness and for the detectives. Seems the political machine hasn't changed much in 70+ years. I also liked the "Author's Afterword" at the end. It helped greatly to wrap up the loose ends.
Lisa Currier
I have read alot this author's "justice" books, and really enjoyed them. This was a great blend of fact and fiction. The ending was a little abrupt. It gave a better picture of Ness,and the case he couldn't solve, and how it haunted him for the rest of his life. A very enjoyable read.
Owen
A great murder mystery with a variety of interesting people. A touch gory. Highly recommended.

FYI - I was born and raise in Chicago, and enjoyed watching the TV Series, "The Untouchables," in my youth. This might make the story more entertaining for me than for others.
Chrissy Owens
Okay, I'm giving it 4 stars b/c I felt like it was an accurate portrayal of Eliot and dismissing the fact that the ending was shocking and disappointing. The book was so well assembled in its near realism that hitting such a fictitious ending was like being slapped in the face.
Tim
To enjoy this novel, it helps to be a fan of Elliot Ness as the author undoubtedly is. The story follows the last case of Ness with a few added surmises from the author. If the pace could have been faster as at the end, this would have been better. 4 of 10 stars
Cheryl
Loved it--I would call it "historical fiction". Fictionalized account of the case that ruined Eliot Ness' reputation and career. But Bernhardt does a great job of redeeming Ness' reputation in this hard to put down book! Well researched, well written!
Kim
Based upon the true story of Eliot Ness trying to catch a serial killer in Cleveland. The whole time I am reading it I thought I was watching a bad film noir movie. Cliches abound, so much so that you felt like you read the page already.
Mike
Breezy fast read, but has some depth (other than the case itself) to it. I won't spoil your fun by telling you any details of the story, but if you only know EN from the Robert Stack portrayal the book and the afternotes are an eye-opener
Joanne
A fictionalized tale of Eliot Ness's last years, but based on actual events. Stalking what is perported to be the first serial killer in the US, did Ness get him or not? It's worth reading the book to find out.
Nancy
There was one case that Eliot Ness was unable to solve: the Torso Murders case in Cleveland, OH. It haunted him for the remainder of his life. Fast paced but the ending was on the unrealistic side.
OK Dad
Another local Okie writer. Cleaning up Ness's final mess. Nicely done, but can't stop seeing Kevin Costner as Ness. Where is Robert Stack when you need him?
Polly
First, I had no idea there was a serial killer in Cleveland.
Secondly, I had no idea Eliot Ness ended his career on such a downward slide.
Great story.
Carroll
This was a fascinating read! It's fiction, but so plausible that you forget it's made up! I heartily recommend it for mystery fans!
Annette
Very informative novel based on fact about the life of Elliot Ness after his involvement with the Al Capone case.
Olivia
Good crime story based on historical events, though not as good as some others I have read.
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85988
William loves his job and it shows in his writing. Library Journal has called him the "master of the courtroom drama;" his books have sold more than ten million copies worldwide. The Vancouver Sun dubbed him "the American equivalent of P.G. Wodehouse and John Mortimer." His novel Dark Eye was a psychological thriller that, in the words of bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, "will chill you while i ...more
More about William Bernhardt...
Primary Justice (Ben Kencaid, #1) Perfect Justice (Ben Kencaid, #4) Blind Justice: A Novel of Suspense (Ben Kencaid, #2) Cruel Justice (Ben Kincaid, #5) Naked Justice (Ben Kincaid, #6)

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