Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Target Lancer (Nate Heller) by Max Allan Collins
I'm a big fan of Max Allan Collins' work but I was afraid this one might be disappointing me. You see, it's about the murder on JFK and I've seen that plot just too many times. Max surprises us all however, because this tale is not about what happened in Dallas but what happened in Chicago, a little while before the killing.
Nate Heller is hired by the Secret Service to help them prevent the assassination of JFK in Chicago. He faces Secret Service politics, historical people like Bobby Kennedy and finds some time to have sex with an aging exotic dancer.
This is classic Heller. A well-researched story that manages to weave a historical plot together with a nice little pulp-style story that would fit in Black Mask magazine. Our hero Nate Heller is ruthless and intelligent as always, making for enjoyable if not always nice company. Oh, and the last two pages were so fantastic this would have been a good book even if the rest had sucked. They gave me everything that I like so much in that hardboiled bastard Heller.