Better Dead

Better Dead

Book - 2016
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It's the early 1950's. Joe McCarthy is campaigning to rid America of the Red Menace. Nate Heller is doing legwork for the senator, though the Chicago detective is disheartened by McCarthy's witch-hunting tactics. He's made friends with a young staffer, Bobby Kennedy, while trading barbs with a potential enemy, the attorney Roy Cohn, who rubs Heller the wrong way. Not the least of which for successfully prosecuting the so-called Atomic Bomb spies, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. When famous mystery writer Dashiell Hammett comes to Heller representing a group of showbiz and literary leftists who are engaged in a last minute attempt to save the Rosenbergs, Heller decides to take on the case. Heller will have to play both sides to do this, and when McCarthy also tasks Heller to find out what the CIA has on him, Heller reluctantly agrees. His main lead is an army scientist working for the C.I.A. who admits to Heller that he's been having misgivings about the work he's doing and elliptically referring to the Cold War making World War II look like a tea party. And then the scientist goes missing.
Publisher: New York :, Forge,, 2016
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780765378286
Characteristics: 336 pages ; 25 cm


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Jan 30, 2017

Top of the line read. Collins is right on in combining the events around the 50's Red Menace and McCarthyism, the mood of the time, and the charm of the tough but compassionate persona of Nathan Heller, PI. And to counter an earlier comment, the sex didn't hurt the narrative one bit, in fact it fit right in with Heller's protagonist. Go on, read it -- a lot of fun.

May 24, 2016

"...he wedded the street-wise private detective novel with the historical novel." The author's website proudly announces that marriage of genres. I'd rather the Mickey Spillane style sex and booze had been left at the altar.

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