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Damned in Paradise: A Nathan Heller Novel [Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged] [MP3 CD]

Max Allan Collins , Dan John Miller , Inc. Brilliance Audio
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

March 13 2012 Nathan Heller Series (Book 8)
In 1931, Nate Heller—on a leave of absence from the Chicago P.D.—goes to Hawaii to work as an investigator for family friend Clarence Darrow. One of five Honolulu natives accused of the rape of recent bride Thalia Massie has been murdered; facing murder charges are Thalia’s naval officer husband and her socialite mother. Something doesn’t seem right, and Darrow has brought Heller in to get to the bottom of it. A first-rate detective thriller, Max Allan Collins’ Damned in Paradise shimmers with authenticity as it drives inexorably towards its grave conclusion. Heller—aided by Chang Apana, the real-life model for Charlie Chan—determines that while Thalia surely was raped, the identity of her attackers are in question, and the lush tropical setting cannot dispel the morass of bigotry, lies, and revenge through which the young detective must wade to reach the bitter truth.

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Product Description

From Amazon

Collins' books about Nathan Heller are great fun, mixing history and mystery into a jaunty stew. The latest finds Heller on his way to Hawaii to help lawyer Clarence Darrow on his last case -- defending a bizarre bunch of murderers in the notorious Massie affair. Using the actual facts of the case (a young Navy wife with social connections claimed she was kidnapped and raped by five young men in Honolulu in 1932; when the men were acquitted, her husband and her mother kidnapped one of the accused and killed him while trying to extract a confession), Collins recreates with considerable skill the natural beauty of the setting and the racial tensions of the time. Darrow comes to sad, vivid life as an aging lion at the end of his career, while other real characters like swimmer Buster Crabbe and the Chinese detective who was the model for Charlie Chan mix with Heller and other lively inventions. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Seven of the eight volumes in this series, which blends classic American crime with the fictional efforts of detective Nate Heller, have been nominated for Shamus awards (two have won). This tale warrants another. Collins gives us pre-statehood Hawaii and the Massie case, which revolved around the alleged abduction and rape of a Navy lieutenant's wife and the subsequent murder of a suspect by lieutenant Thomas Massie and his mother-in-law. The sensational crime stirred racial hatreds in Hawaii and stoked a movement to place the territory under military rather than civilian rule. It's 1932, and Heller, wrapping up his involvement in the Lindbergh kidnapping case (Stolen Away), lunches with Clarence Darrow. Darrow has been lured out of semi-retirement to defend Massie, his mother-in-law Grace Fortescue and two seamen against charges of murdering one of the five mixed-race youths accused of raping Thalia Massie. As Darrow's investigator, Heller cuts through the incompetence, corruption and confusion that surrounded both the original crime and the subsequent murder of the suspect. Collins's vivid sketch of a deeply divided polyglot culture is spiced with colorful real-life characters in Darrow, Buster Crabbe and Chang Apana, the Hawaiian policeman who served as a model for Charlie Chan.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding as usual Oct. 14 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Max Allan Collins is one of my favorite writers. His books which employ the character Nate Heller are some of the best mystery novels ever written. Nate is always placed in the middle of a true-life incident, sometimes historically significant, sometimes not. In this case, the incident was not particularly historically significant, if not for the appearance of an aging Clarence Darrow. As always, this Heller book informs regarding the incident and truly entertains. I have read dozens of mystery series. Nate Heller ranks right up there with Travis McGee and Elvis Cole as one of my favorite detectives. Perhaps Heller is the most developed and interesting of the bunch.
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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  51 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nate Heller Returns Nov. 6 2002
By David W. Nicholas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Nate Heller novels are always fun. When I reviewed the last one I had read, I made the observation that you must accept one big whopper: that a single detective could do everything he does, in all of the various historical cases the author gets him involved in. If you can live with that, then you'll thoroughly enjoy the books, as I do.
In this installment, it's early in Heller's career, and he's still a Chicago cop. He's finishing up the first part of his involvement in the Lindberg kidnapping when Clarence Darrow calls. Heller knows Darrow because Heller's father owned a radical bookstore some years before, and Darrow was a customer. Darrow wants an investigator to accompany him to Hawaii, and help him with the defense of a quartet of accused murderers, who apparently killed a man accused of rape. The accused include the rape victim's husband and her mother. The kicker is that all of the accused rapists were Asian or Polynesian of some sort, and the rape victim, and all of those accused in the killing, are white. Racial tensions are running high when Heller and Darrow arrive in the islands.
The story is typical Collins, and a rather good example of what he does. The mystery is well-presented, and interesting. The author knows the characters, and the issues, involved in the real-life crime that he portrays. Most people think that Hawaiians are easy-going types, and many are, but there is also a considerable amount of anger about past discrimination on the island, percieved or real. This book does a good job of portraying that.
The other thing Collins always does is cameo appearances by celebrities. In addition to Darrow, and the defendants in the case, Heller runs into a young Buster Crabbe and a much older Chang Apana. The latter was a well-known Honolulu police detective who was the basis for Earl Der Biggers' character Charlie Chan. Amusingly, Detective Apana repeats some of Charlie Chan's quotes from the movies, with tongue firmly in cheek.
I really enjoyed this book. I think most others who are interested in history, and in detective novels, would enjoy it also.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding as usual Oct. 14 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Max Allan Collins is one of my favorite writers. His books which employ the character Nate Heller are some of the best mystery novels ever written. Nate is always placed in the middle of a true-life incident, sometimes historically significant, sometimes not. In this case, the incident was not particularly historically significant, if not for the appearance of an aging Clarence Darrow. As always, this Heller book informs regarding the incident and truly entertains. I have read dozens of mystery series. Nate Heller ranks right up there with Travis McGee and Elvis Cole as one of my favorite detectives. Perhaps Heller is the most developed and interesting of the bunch.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read Dec 31 2012
By pv1940 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've read a lot of the Nate Heller series. They are always interesting and one learns a lot about famous cases of the past. Lots of history, always a good story and Nate is the ultimate old fashioned tough talking PI. This story was great - combined a good crime case, good courtroom drama and Clarence Darrow thrown in. I'd recommend these books to anyone who likes a good detective story.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and enjoyable with a nod to historical fact. Oct. 15 2008
By Thomas77 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book. I first got into MACs books when I randomly picked up "The Pearl Harbor Murders" one night at the library. After reading that I decided to look for more. As a result, I wound up reading this one, and with no regrets. He does a very fine job of painting vivid pictures of the Hawaiian backdrop and climate as well as creating believable characters and engaging dialogue. While action is rather minimal, I never got "bored" as he moves the story along at a nice clip. Like most all of MACs books, he frames this story around a real event with actual historical characters and, I might add, he does a good job of it. Based on the historical references and articles I've read about the Massie affair, his story stays true to most all of the evidence and events that transpired during that tumultuous time in Hawai'i. Now, of course, he did take some literary priviledges with the story, but not to an overwhelming degree that would destract from the true incident or take the story way out into left field.
Having just finished this book, I am eagerly awaiting the next books to arrive that I ordered in the Nate Heller series, "Carnal Hours" and "True Crime".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Damned in Paradise Jan. 22 2013
By Laura Heitzmann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I liked it. It portrayed an interesting time and place in history that I hadn't looked at before. The story moved along nicely
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