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Chicago Confidential  By  cover art

Chicago Confidential

By: Max Allan Collins
Narrated by: Dan John Miller
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Publisher's Summary

It’s 1950 in Chicago, P.I. Nate Heller’s old stomping grounds. But things are different now, and the wind is blowing in a different, decidedly more dangerous direction. Congressman-with-a-cause and presidential-hopeful Estes Kefauver creates the Committee on Organized Crime to put the squeeze on the mob - and anyone who ever associated with them. Heller tries to lay low, but when ex-cop Bill Drury cooperates and mafia moll Jackie Payne sings, Heller finds himself catapulted into the middle of the investigation.

Quick wits and tough talk swirl in the middle of Kefauver’s senatorial charade as Max Allan Collins blends fact and fiction to stunning results. When Drury is murdered and Jackie disappears, Heller decides it’s time for a little payback - and maybe some ice cold justice. With the mob and Kefauver’s crime committee hot on his trail, Heller mixes with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Jayne Mansfield, and Senator Joe McCarthy on a wild Windy City ride.

©2011 Max Allan Collins

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Highly Recommended for Noir Fans

Max Allan Collins' series about private eye Nathan Heller is a true find for people who enjoy hard-boiled noir stories. Collins' inserts his gritty investigator into some of the most sensational unsolved crimes of the 1930s through the 1960s. The stories combine great plots, gripping pacing, meticulous historical research, and convincing cameos of real characters – including, in this case, Sam Giancana, Estes Kefauver, and Jayne Mansfield.

Each entry of the series is performed by voice actor Dan John Miller, and there could not have been a better choice.

1 person found this helpful

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the Outfit

In this book, set mostly in Chicago, the author, who lived there many years, focuses on the Mafia, Mob, or Outfit as the author calls it in this book. It shows the inner working of the Outfit and shows how it centered in Chicago but also has ties to LA, Vegas, Florida, DC, New York and elsewhere. The Outfit's heyday was the first half of the twentieth century even into the 50s and 60s but its influence was waning.

This book bring Joe McCarthy and his hunt for communists into the story and a congressional committee investigating organized crime and also had a femme fatale, Vera Jane Powers, before she became famous as Jayne Mansfield.

The committee hearings reminded me somewhat to the current January 6 committee investigating that day and everything and everyone that led up to it. Made me think we've seen this stuff before and eventually it will go away. Then there will be more just like it down the road.

This was a fun listen.

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Lady In Distress

Nate Heller begins this tale on the west coast shortly after divorcing his wife at the time. In short order he is asked by a lovely lady in distress to assist in keeping a man she claims is stalking her at bay. Once again, Nate, taken in by a beautiful woman is played as he unravels the stalker is actually the husband who is attempting to get his wife back home with him and their young child. As the couple comes to terms, Nate learns that this beauty has been using an assumed name and in reality is the future Jayne Mansfield.

Returning to Chicago, Nate becomes embroiled AGAIN in mob violence with a recognizable list of real players including Frank Sinatra, Sam Giancana, Jack Ruby, Drew Pearson, and a host of other names from the early 50's Chicago's corrupt gang and political scene. Pursuing the bad guys into Mexico, Nate is joined again by the lovely Jayne Mansfield.

As always, the story flows well and Nate does his classic recap at the end of all the characters and how their lives were impacted by the story. Another good listen from Max Allan Collins and great delivery by Dan John Miller.

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I couldn't listen to the narrator

I apparently had no idea what I was getting. The narrator was trying change to a woman's voice and with horrible results; ruined the book from the beginning. I could not listen to it. The story seemed to be developing a trashy or sleazy tone. But I couldn't listen long enough to let it develop fully.

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nathan heller

a fantastic series by max allan collins bought and listened to them all so good they do not seem like fiction