Josh's Reviews > True Detective

True Detective by Max Allan Collins
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's review
Aug 09, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: kindle, own, private_detective, read_2012, nate_heller_series
Read from August 06 to 09, 2012 — I own a copy

Nate Heller is a detective, private or city licenced - either way, it's in his blood, it's what he's good at. In 'True Detective' Max Allan Collins introduces Heller alongside gangsters of the Al Capone and Frank Nitti era in the windy city and hot beaches of Florida. The events that take place in this historical detective mystery compound Heller's desire for justice and unwillingness to flinch at even the toughest opponents while tiptoeing on either side of the blue line of the law.

I liked the dynamic protagonist for all his flaws and tough guy attitude. Unlike many private dicks, Heller comes with a heap of baggage which is well documented in 'True Detective'. From a less than ideal childhood to relationship problems, and ultimately lawful mistrust in the eyes of his fellow officers - Hellers molehill of a world has problems the size of a mountain.

'True Detective' brings many a good thing to the table; the establishment of Heller's own business the A1 Detective Agency, a deep and interesting backstory to Heller, a glimpse at the founder of the Untouchables in Eliot Ness, a transference to a time where Capone still had influence (albeit behind bars), corrupt city officials, missing person cases, political assassination, and a dame worth a damn.

Reading more like a TV series than a single novel - Max Allan Collins mashes multiple plot threats into a single interlocking story which opens like a bullet to the gut - right off the bat we're introduced to a couple of cops in Miller and Lang who set out to murder Frank Nitti, throwing Heller into the mix unwillingly. Shortly after Heller forms his own agency, cops a case to track a missing person, gets in bed with a few gangsters, and flies a few bullets, all in a days works. Adding to the allure is the wonderfully written cast of well known personalities from 1930's in Ness, Nitti, FDR, and Capone to name but a few. This is a damn good book and a great start to the Nate Heller series - 4 stars.
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08/06/2012 page 69
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