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Chicago Confidential Mass Market Paperback – May 6 2003


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (MM); Reprint edition (May 6 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451208560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451208569
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 10.6 x 1.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 122 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,031,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
In Chicago the price is up front, at least, if nonnegotiable. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Chicago Confidential" is the twelfth Nathan Heller novel from Max Allan Collins.
It is a deft blending of true crime and mystery fiction---an astonishing mix of fact and fiction. His theories and conclusions are most convincing
It is not a whodunit---rather it is about a famous time in crime. It is 1950 in Chicago as the initial congressional inquiry into organized crime is starting up.
Heller runs the A-1 Detective Agency and is not mobbed up, but still has no desire to testify before Kefauver's committee.
Heller's ability to work with the underworld figures as well as the law is what makes his agency successful.
Ambitious politicos, rancorous gangsters and a couple of honest cops are the central figures Heller must deal with.
Snappy dialog, menacing action sequences and scrupulous historical research make this hard-boiled thriller a treat.
Among the real characters interacting with the concocted ones: Jayne Mansfield, Frank Sinatra, Drew Pearson, Sam Giancana, Senator Joe McCarthy.
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Format: Hardcover
Anyone reading this effort is going to be convinced of one thing.
Man, if that guy can get published, then there is hope for anyone.
There appears to be no reason for the book except that the author had done some research on famous people of the 50s and didn't know what to do with it.
My guess: Collins was setting around drinking and wondering how to pay his bills when it dawned on him, "hey, why don't I use the names of these famous people and connect them in some way and see if I can sell it to someone as a novel?"
Those appearing include, Frank Sinatra, Jayne Mansfield, Sam Giancanna, Tony Accardo, Drew Pearson, Estes Kefaufer, and Joe McCarthy. Notice anything they have in common?
All of them are dead, which means they can't object to being in such a dismal novel.
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Format: Hardcover
Sorry, Steve 731, I respectfully disagree. I think this is one of the BEST Nate Heller books. The "crime" itself may not be as sensational as "The Black Dahlia" or the Lindbergh kidnapping, but most readers will be well aware of the McCarthy hearings and Kefauver hearings into organized crime (and this book provides a fascinating-- if theoretical-- inside look at both).
I do agree, though, that with a cameo appearance by Jack Ruby (and the fact that Frank Sinatra and mobster Sam "Mooney" Giancana are major characters in this book) it's only a matter of time until Max Allan Collins/Nate Heller tackle the JFK assassination (I can hardly wait!).
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Format: Hardcover
It took less than a week to read Chicago Confidential but I almost didn't finish it because the first half is real slow. I stayed with it to see who Heller met and all that, and when the action picked up in the middle, I was hooked.
The case Heller takes on may not be very well known but it's an important part of the Heller story and well worth your time. Collins, as always, has done a great job. --Brian
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