In July 1943, Nate Heller flies to Nassau where multimillionaire Sir Harry Oakes wants dirt dug up on Count De Marigny, the playboy who has married Harry's beautiful, underage daughter, Nancy. But the investigation has barely begun when Sir Harry turns up dead in bed - burned to death in a real-life locked-room mystery - and Heller is soon working for Nancy, whose husband faces murder charges. Chicago P.I. Heller is on his most intriguing - and dangerous - mission yet in this devilishly clever thriller filled with surprising twists and sharp turns. With the world at war, the peaceful Bahamas provide an ironic, idyllic backdrop for Nazis, the mafia, and two lovely women: one a native girl, the other an aristocratic Englishwoman. Heller is aided by a certain British secret service agent ("Fleming...Ian Fleming"), and encounters along the way the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Meyer Lanksy, and Perry Mason's creator, Erle Stanley Gardner. "No one can twist you through a maze with the intensity and suspense of Max Allan Collins. A classic." -Clive Cussler, author of Raise the Titanic
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Max Allan Collins is the author of the Shamus Award-winning Nathan Heller historical thrillers; his other books include the New York Times bestseller Saving Private Ryan and the bestselling CSI series. His comics writing ranges from the graphic novel Road to Perdition, source of the Tom Hanks film, to long runs as scripter of the “Dick Tracy” comic strip and his own innovative “Ms. Tree.” Collins is also a screenwriter and a leading Indie filmmaker. He lives in Iowa with his wife, writer Barbara Collins, and their son, Nathan.From Kirkus Reviews:
Nassau, 1943. Hours after self-made billionaire Sir Harry Oakes hires Chicago shamus Nate Heller (Stolen Away, 1991, etc.) to dig up dirt on his daughter Nancy's fortune-hunting husband Count Freddie de Marigny, Sir Harry is dead--killed by a bizarre combination of head wounds, fire, and insecticide--and soon Nancy has Nate turned around, looking for evidence that will exonerate Freddie. A lesser detective would be daunted by the forces arrayed against him: the Attorney General is obviously railroading Freddie; the Duke of Windsor has imported a pair of Miami cops to preserve crime-scene fingerprints identified as Freddie's and destroy inconveniently non-Freddie prints; and Meyer Lansky makes it clear to Nate that, like the Duke, he has a vested interest in seeing the case go quietly to the jury. Luckily Nate will have the help of Hearst reporter Erle Stanley Gardner (who tells Nate, ``You're the genuine article! I'm the goddamn pretender'') and Naval Intelligencer Ian Fleming (``This aloof son of a bitch was a good storyteller,'' grudging Nate admits) in figuring out why everybody's determined to put Freddie on the spot, and who really did the dirty. Hardboiled true-crime fictionalizer Collins handles the political intrigue more expertly than the mystery; promising complications vanish in a haze of red herrings, but Nate still has a fine time making monkeys of an international alliance of lawmen. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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